This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1457711. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

2017 Troubleshooting Competition dates announced; top eight college teams from across U.S. participate in 2016 competition

PTSE and the North American Process Technology Alliance, or NAPTA (, have announced the 2017 Troubleshooting Competition dates.

College process technology teams can register for the competition between Feb.1-22, 2017. The competition qualifying round, held online at each competing school, wil take place at any date betwen March 8-29 next year. The top teams from the competition qualifying round will participate in the National Competition on April 21-22, 2017 at Lone Star College Atascocita Center in Houston, Texas.

Click here to view & print a flyer. More information will be posted on this website and the NAPTA website, along with the PTSE Facebook page.

The top eight teams from college process technology programs competed in the 3rd National Troubleshooting Competition April 22nd-23rd, 2016, at Lone Star College in Kingwood, TX.

PTSE team, students attend NSF conference

Students Omar Farooq and Paul Hansen participated in the 2016 NSF Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Principal Investigator (PI) Conference in Washington, D.C. and received NSF ATE Student Award of Excellence certificates.

The two students are members of the winning team of the 2016 National Troubleshooting Competition event. Student participation and attendance to this conference was the highest in its history.

Maribeth Stitt, Lone Star College, along with Dan Schmidt and Martha McKinley, Co-Principal Investigators of the grant, attended the conference as the capstone event of the year.

2016 National Troubleshooting Competition results

A team from South Central Louisiana Technical College took top honors during the competition, which involved the three-student teams troubleshooting computer simulator-based scenarios. Two Alaska teams, Kenai Peninsula College - Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula College - Kenai River, came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Watch a dynamic video about the 2016 National Competition, produced by Media Services at Lone Star College.

Other competitors included teams from:

  • Bellingham Technical College (Washington)
  • ITI Technical College (Louisiana)
  • Los Medanos College (California)
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
  • University of Alaska Community & Technical College

1st Place: South Central Louisiana Technical College

2nd Place: Kenai Peninsula College- Anchorage Ext.

3rd Place: Kenai Peninsula College- Kenai River

The event also included a networking hour with industry representatives, practice sessions, and an awards banquet. The competition is part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant DUE 1457711 "Developing Students' Troubleshooting Skills in Energy Programs."

Lone Star College in Kingwood, TX, is the home of the grant. Education partners include Bismarck State College, University of Alaska, and Mining and Petroleum Training Service.

Industry sponsors include Shell, Eastman, and Chevron. Vendor partners include Simtronics, Systran, and RISC.

Click here to view the top eight teams and coaches from the competition.

Click here to view a digital photo album of the competition.

Click here to view a list of teams that paticipated in the Qualifying Round.

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Copyright 2016 Simtronics Inc. All rights reserved worldwide

Industry, education team develops no-cost, energy-related troubleshooting skills

Process Troubleshooting Skills in Energy (PTSE) has developed a series of equipment and process-specific troubleshooting scenarios, along with basic troubleshooting methodologies and tools, through a NSF grant "Developing Students' Troubleshooting Skills in Energy Programs."

The applied scenarios are incorporated into modules as part of a set of instructional materials in troubleshooting training and education-related programs. These materials are available to college instructors and industry trainers at no cost.

A user ID and password login is required to view and download the materials. Click on the Learning Materials button on the left side of this website for more information. NOTE: Please logoff the page when your downloads are complete to keep the materials secure.

The modules include process descriptions, drawings (PFDs and P&IDs), troubleshooting steps, specifications, self-check questions, additional activities, and other content. Most modules include two or more troubleshooting activities, based on different possible scenarios that process technicians could encounter.

NSF awarded the grant to Lone Star College, effective from March 2015 to Oct. 31, 2016. Martha McKinley is serving as the Principal Investigator (PI); Dan Schmidt of Bismarck State College will serve as Co-PI.

PTSE Beacon Award presented to Mark Demark,
longtime Process Technology instructor

Mark Demark, a Process Technology instructor who taught for over 18 years after working at Shell and other companies in the energy industry, was honored posthumously with the PTSE Beacon Award at the 2016 National Troubleshooting Competition.

Demark, a long-time contributor to learning materials for Process Technology education and training, was working with PTSE to review instructor and student troubleshooting materials when he passed away in December 2015.

The Beacon award is presented to an individual for his or her commitment to Process Technology education and the NSF troubleshooting grant.

The Beacon Award honors individuals that serve as a source
of inspiration and guidance for the movement. Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow, in his poem “The Lighthouse,”
captures the spirit of the Beacon Award through these words:

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!