Students from the Engineering Technology Department at GSU recently toured the EXCO Operating Company, LP (Natural gas processing plant) in Quitman. Assistant professor John Frazier’s DET 305-CAD Pipe Drafting and Design class, consisting of junior and senior engineering technology majors were excited when they received an invitation to tour the plant. “The purpose of the trip was to expose the students in the CAD Pipe Drafting and Design class to real world examples of pipe drafting and design by visiting a fully operational processing plant,” said Frazier.
Students had the opportunity to view many of the piping layout designs, processing vessels, and equipment they are learning about in the classroom.
Ken Filardo, production, superintendent of EXCO Resources, did an excellent job of explaining the plant’s operations, piping components, and the engineering involved in the plant’s design and layout, explained Frazier.
Filardo and the EXCO company are also supporters of the Engineering Technology Department’s Clayton Wiley Week.
Wendy Calahan, administrative assistant in the department, was instrumental in the planning and coordinating of the students’ trip.
Dr. Olusegun Adeyemi, head of the Engineering Technology Department and several faculty and staff members accompanied Frazier and the students on the trip.
Students who attended the field trip was excited at the knowledge they gained.
“My experience at EXCO was very rewarding. I was able to actually see what pipes corresponded to our drawings. I now have a better understanding of pipe drafting. I also learned more about the benefits of natural gas, how it is drilled, and its benefits to the environment,” said Zenia Norman, senior from Grambling.
Kendall Robinson, a junior from Birmingham majoring in architecture and drafting design, said “We saw a truck that runs off natural gas. It was rewired, and a computer was built inside the engine to make it think it was using gasoline. The pump has a computer in it that converts the amount of gas in gallons, so it was like filling up a regular vehicle but cheaper.”
Robinson said the trip was a great experience, and he would like to get an internship there in the summer.
New Orleans native Caliste Michael Bab Jr. said the class actually got a chance to see the types of piper that they have been drawing in class.
“We experienced how the plant was controlled and used. The class and I got a chance to learn about natural gas being used in the same way as regular gasoline,” said Bab.
Junior Onyeaka, senior from Harrisburg, Pa., said that before the trip he did not know a lot about natural gas.
“This trip was a very enlightening experience for me. I learned that natural gas has very little difference from petroleum. When used in a truck, natural gas burned just as hot, and it ran just like a gas-powered truck,” he said.
Terel Jones said, “I became aware of how important natural gas is. Natural gas produces oil. There are important knowledge about natural gas that would be great to know in the field of engineering.”
“Witnessing a natural gas plant for the first time made me realize its future possibilities. The conversion from regular to natural gas in modern day vehicles is what amazed me most,” said Valon McCall.