FKCC appoints ocean expert to advise on new engineering program

Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) has appointed Tony Jones to its advisory committee for the new engineering technology program for alternative energy technicians.

With expertise in marine hydrokinetic, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and salinity gradient energy development, Jones will advise the college on developing an Associate in Science Degree in Engineering Technology to fulfill the growing need for talent required in wind, solar and hydrokinetic power industry.

The renewable energy technician will be provided with hands on training at the college in Key West in Florida.

Jones said: “In the week that President Trump announces the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Accord on Climate Change stating job protection as one of his motivations, the fastest growing job in the United States is wind turbine service technician. We need educational institutions to prepare for this growth and the expected growth in tidal power.

“I am looking forward to working with the Florida Keys Community College on developing the talent to drive the renewable infrastructure essential to power the coastal communities.”

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded FKCC almost $895,000 to develop an Associate in Science degree in Engineering Technology with an Alternative Energy Technician track that will focus on career pathways in solar, wind, and ocean power technology.

The new program is planned for launch in August 2017.