WILLISTON, N.D. - The retired pump behind the Western Star Building now has a second life as an ornamental piece on campus thanks to Petroleum Instructor Alberto Bellina's TECH 299 class.
Donated by Whiting Oil & Gas Corporation in the fall semester of 2014 for educational use, at first, the conventional sucker rod pumping unit looked like a good piece for Bellina's automation class to work on.
"I thought it would be great to work on an actual pump jack, get the piece working again. A lot of schools do not get this opportunity handed to them," Bellina explained. "After researching it further, with the aid of Pierre Nkada, WISCO employee, who had serviced that unit last, I discovered it could not be reassembled as a working pump, but an ornamental piece for WSC."
Tasked with designing the setup of a sucker rod balance pump unit for the spring semester, six sophomore petroleum students spent the beginning of the semester in teams researching companies to assemble the sucker rod pumping unit, bid out jobs, and solicit donations.
The 100% student-run project replicated a real world, hands-on project management experience. Steve Vargas, Richard Fiadzo, David Kwasitse, and Alex Ruvugwa took direction from lead project managers Brian Ensrud and Tanner Fricke after their final presentation received the highest grade.
"Feedback from panel judges was used by students to improve each project phase, resulting in a well-researched and substantiated final presentation," stated Pamela Rasmussen, TREND (Training for Regional Energy in North Dakota) Grant Director. "TREND was able to cover non-donated costs with DOL TAACCCT grant funds to ensure completion due to the educational relevance of the project and the quality of the documentation provided by students."
Estimated to cost $40,016.39, the concept was approved by WSC Petroleum Advisory and Leadership Boards after $15,240.41 was covered by the TREND Grant and an estimated total amount of $24,775.98 in donations were awarded to this project. The following businesses donated to the project:
B&G Oilfield Service
Basin Concrete & Trucking Rental
Border States Electric
Borsheim Crane Service
Nodak Oilfield Service
Signs by Dan
Williston API (American Petroleum Institute)
Lighting will be installed by H&H Electric and the WSC Welding Department created the safety fence. The diesel program helped in draining the unit, smoothing out the surface for painting, and helped by fixing one of the donor's trucks. The Williston State College Foundation will donate the signage once the project is complete.
"Not only did our students work with a dozen companies to place a pump jack unit on the front of the CTE Building, they created the plan and oversaw the implementation at no cost to WSC," WSC President Raymond Nadolny stated. "I have never witnessed anything like this. Our Petroleum students are amazing."
Brain Ensrud, TECH 299 lead project manager on the pump jack unit project, knows this experience will help him in his Hess Corporation Internship beginning May 23 in Tioga, ND.
"The project transition to completion took some planning. I didn't count on having four days of rain prior to painting," Ensrud explained. "Fortunately, I was able to schedule the companies to move and set it up Monday, May 9. Everything came together nicely. Everyone involved has been very helpful in completing the project by graduation day."
"It is impressive to see that WSC can show students how to start and end a project of this magnitude. Students at a four-year university would more than likely never have this type of opportunity to be so directly involved," Bellina explained. "I have seen all six of these students grow intellectually and know they will take away a lot of skills from this project that will help them succeed."
The morning of Commencement, May 13, at 8:30 a.m.,WSC will host the pump jack dedication.
For more information about this event contact Alberto Bellina, WSC Petroleum Instructor at 701.774.4285 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For any information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.