Information Updated August 2019
Michael Gengler is the lead faculty for the Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Program at Iowa Lakes Community College
First class was in 2004, the nation’s first AAS in Wind Energy & Turbine
Students come from all over the US, and international students have come from Africa, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, and Central America.
Class size is typically 60 students
Six full-time faculty comprise our energy instructors, linking intuitive concepts across the following disciplines:
Gender: Male 94%, Female 6%
Ethnicity: Caucasian 91.2%, African American 1.8%, Race Not Reported 7%
Average Age: 24
Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Internship
AAS: Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Degree – 2 years
Diploma: Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Diploma – 1 year
Work at Height & Rescue for the Wind Industry; Snap-on Tools at Height; AHF CPR/AED; First Aid; Bloodborne Pathogens; Snap-on Power Tool Safety, Snap-on Hand Tool Safety, HYTORC Certification, Snap-on Multi-meter Certification, OSHA-10
We operate in two facilities comprising 50,000 square feet of classroom and lab space. We fly a Vestas V-82, 1.65 MW turbine that is used for training as well as power generation to offset utility costs. We have a 3 MW Vestas V-90 on a short tower, a 2 MW Gamesa G-87 on platform, a Vestas V-82 Hub trainer, various gearboxes for borescope and mechanical familiarization. Our automation lab provides for programmable logic, networking, data acquisition, fluid power and robotics. Our climb training room for Work at Height and Rescue in the Wind Industry (U.S.) also provides for Global Wind Organization (International) certifications. Foundational skills in electrical theory and industrial processes are taught in our laboratories for motors, generators, hydraulics, mechanical systems, power transmission, electronics and digital techniques, field training and project operations.
Market assessment shows wind energy technician as the 2nd leading occupational growth for the next 10 years. Truthfully, with around 114,000 jobs supporting wind energy currently, and with projected requirements for 230,000 by 2030 and 500,000 by 2050, demand for properly trained technicians far exceeds supply.
Our success comes from our faculty’s ability to connect dots from the natural environment to the built environment, with a focus on energy, sustainability and the environment. Our systems approach to teaching and mentoring results in graduates that possess a thorough understanding of top human challenges and their impact on our environmental and energy future. Our variety of hands-on trainers provides the realism students deserve and prepares them to go farther, faster. We focus on professional development, putting our students and employers in regular contact, developing networking skills and giving them practice in presenting themselves to industry experts.
Our industry advisory committees ensure that we provide relevant curriculum. One of our hallmarks is that our curriculum evolves continuously, keeping pace with what our advisory members demand. We are proud to work with companies like: Vestas Americas, Impact Access, Snap-on Industrial, Southern Power, Avangrid, Field Corps, Global Wind Services, MidAmerican Energy, NextEra Energy, FGGS, E-On, Safety Technologies, LLC, Duke Energy, Siemens-Gamesa, Mortensen, Wanzek, Blattner Energy, Windtest North America, EDP Renewables, EDF Renewables, One-Way Building Solutions, American Wind Energy Association, Iowa Wind Energy Association, Trusted Energy, Anemometry Specialists, World Wind & Solar, Edutech, Hy-torc, Bachman, Enerpac, Integrated Power Services, Power Climber, Alliant Energy – the list goes on.
Our students have an internship requirement where they apply their skills across the spectrum of wind energy, from construction to overhaul, and many earn traveling technician internships. Internships are competitive, pay well, and provide students a first-hand look at the wind industry. Whether an internship or full-time employment after graduation, placement takes care of itself.
Our program has been featured in media by Duracell, National Geographic (Paris to Pittsburgh), CNNs Great Big Story, National Public Radio, Wind Systems Magazine, Wind Power Engineering and Development, and others. We have produced dropped object prevention training (Tools at Height) for Snap-on and NC3, safety webinars for AWEA, and appear regularly in regional news media.