Education, industry leaders show San Jacinto College’s new Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology during tour

The Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology will open for classes Aug. 26.

The Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology will open for classes Aug. 26.

San Jacinto College officials and leaders from the petrochemical and energy industries spent the morning of Aug. 21 showing off the college’s new Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology.

The center, which opens for classes Aug. 26, will train about 2,800 students to start with the knowledge and experience necessary to work at one of the 132 plants within a 12-mile radius of the college. The college partnered with leaders from the petrochemical and energy industries to design the center and its curriculum, said Jim Griffin, the associate vice chancellor and senior vice president for the center.

“It’s definitely a project that is dynamic and not static,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for us.”

During the tour, officials showed off some of the classrooms and equipment students would use, including a control room and distillation processing unit common at petrochemical and energy plants. Students will learn to use the control room and its stations to interact with other students outdoors at processing unit, which was built specifically for training purposes. Eventually, students will run the control room and processing unit 24 hours a day as they would at a real plant, Griffin said.

The control room can simulate common issues plants experience, such as pump failures or problems with valves. Students in the control room will work by radio with those at the processing unit, similar to how it is done at a real plant, Griffin said.

“It gives good hands-on opportunity to our students,” he said.

[gallery columns="4" ids="432524,432588,432589,432590,432593,432591,432592,424420"]

Officials also showed off performance learning platforms, which are labs that teach instrumentation and control theories. The platforms include screens on which students can watch instruction videos to learn as they interact with the devices, said Jeff Hackney, director of global education services for petrochemical company Emerson.

Hackney said the platforms are one example of how students at the center will have access to the “latest and greatest” technology for years to come to train and learn on. It is possible to integrate the platforms with virtual and augmented reality technology so students can learn remotely, he said.

Leaders displayed an inspection testing lab, which is where students will learn hands-on ways to test electrical, mechanical and other systems for faults. The center also includes labs to learn about electrical systems, safety procedures and other industry standards.

The center at 7901 W. Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, cost $60 million to build and was funded by the college’s $425 million 2015 bond. The 151,000-square-foot building is the largest petrochemical training facility in the Gulf Coast region and is designed to accommodate a 50% growth in enrollment.

Emerson is one of over two dozen industry partnerships the college established to create the center.

“We’re super excited to be partnered with San Jacinto,” Hackney said.

For more information, visit sanjac.edu/cpet.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's police reform task force is gathering more community input. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Police reform task force asks Houston residents to share opinions through Aug. 9

The Houston Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform is circulating a survey among Houston neighborhoods to collect opinions from residents.

The 2020 U.S. Census response rate is already lagging behind 2010 numbers, and officials said the shortened timeline only increases the chances of an undercount. (Community Impact staff)
Shortened census timeline could shortchange Houston, its most vulnerable communities

The 2020 U.S. Census response rate is already lagging behind 2010 numbers, and officials said the shortened timeline only increases the chances of an undercount.

The farm-to-table restaurant plans to create 90 jobs and offer familiar American meals. (Courtesy Whiskey Cake)
Whiskey Cake restaurant to open in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
Proposed League City budget includes property tax rate decrease

The proposed fiscal year 2020-21 budget for League City, which begins Oct. 1, includes a property tax rate drop and decreases in operating and capital project expenses.

Galveston County COVID-19 cases have reached 9,168 as of Aug. 5. A total of 107 cases were reported Aug. 4, and another 62 were reported Aug. 5. (Community Impact staff)
Galveston County COVID-19 cases pass 9,000 mark

Galveston County COVID-19 cases have reached 9,168 as of Aug. 5. A total of 107 cases were reported Aug. 4, and another 62 were reported Aug. 5.

The overall death total in Harris County hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 17 deaths confirmed Aug. 5, including man in his 20s

The overall death total hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older.

UHCL has come up with an in-person and remote learning plan for the upcoming school year. (Designed by Community Impact staff)
University of Houston-Clear Lake looks at plans for fall semester

University of Houston-Clear Lake will be offering both in-person and online classes in the fall.

Restaurants in Houston can now opt to take up to 50% of its designated parking spaces to create outdoor dining space as long as COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston restaurants can now tap parking lots for outdoor dining

Houston City Council has approved a proposal to allow restaurants to take over 50% of their parking spaces to expand outdoor dining capacity.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

Galveston Bay Park, Coastal Texas Study, Jim Blackburn, Rob Rogers
Galveston Bay Park idea earns top honors in Houston 2020 Visions competition

A plan to create a 10,000-acre public park of chained islands in Galveston Bay to mitigate storm damage to the coast was among three projects to win top honors in the international design competition Houston 2020 Visions.

A total of 723 of the new cases were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city of Houston, which is the most to be confirmed outside of the city in a single day. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,438 new cases, 22 deaths confirmed Aug. 4

A total of 723 of the new cases were confirmed in Harris County outside of the city of Houston, which is the most to be confirmed outside of the city in a single day.