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STC to start electrical utility technology program

POSTED: August 19, 2011 12:41 p.m.

SAVANNAH—This fall Savannah Technical College will begin enrolling students in a specialized program that prepares skilled technicians to work in the fast-paced world of power generation and transmission. The Electrical Utility Technology (EUT) programs will include an associate degree, diploma and certificate option and will incorporate a range of new technologies.

“All of industry is pressured to move toward leaner organizational structures; couple that with a maturing workforce and the rapid pace of technological change and the result is constant change and adaptation. The energy field is no different, ” said EUT department head Stephen Hopkins, a 30-year veteran in the electric utility and telecommunications industries. “This program will prepare students to work in areas where the demand for new ideas to provide energy is great.”

STC will partner with area companies, including Georgia Power and the area cooperatives, to bring workers skilled in smart grid technology that will affect every aspect of the industry from generation at power plants, through transmission, substations and distribution across the region.

“This is an emerging field,” Hopkins said. “People who learn these skills will be able to build and sustain successful careers in the industry.”

Hopkins has a wide-ranging industry experience in engineering and project management as well as in executive and leadership positions with AT&T, Georgia Power, Nebraska Public Power District and Clarksville Department of Electricity.

Among other things, he led a project in Clarksville, Tenn., that introduced new electronic meter reading and smart grid services along with digital television, internet and IP telephony to a Top 100 public utility. He holds a BSIE with emphasis on Information and control Systems Design from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Valdosta State University.

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