A challenge looms in the energy field, as energy systems engineering technicians must learn how to integrate and use modern sustainable energy technologies in a manner consistent with our urban environments. The focus on the environment and global warming is ensuring that the construction industry is adopting new green building initiatives that are quickly becoming mainstream. Manufacturers have many new products that provide ways to implement advanced energy control in commercial and residential structures. They must work with the energy systems technicians if the products are going to succeed. The door is now open to a range innovative energy projects using small-scale sources such as solar, wind, hydro, fuel cells, gas turbines and biomass to feed electricity, heat and air conditioning to our homes and businesses. ?The door is also open to those who want to change the world by becoming a energy systems engineering technicians.
So what exactly is this door opening up to? Well, to put it frankly, many jobs in the energy systems engineering technician field — which includes heat transfer, fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics and mechanics. This is due to a widening skilled-labour shortage and quickly advancing technology in the energy sector that are creating huge demand for technicians who possess a breadth of knowledge. In their varied positions, energy systems technicians work with industries that include moulding and casting, integrated circuit packaging, heat exchanger/ boiler design and manufacture and petrochemical processing. Depending on where they work, these professionals may: implement energy solutions for commercial and residential buildings using knowledge of energy systems, energy efficiency and renewable/distributed energy systems; operate power plants of various sizes; design and maintain heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration units; and work with architectural companies to integrate energy technologies into the latest green buildings.
Clearly, these techs are required to possess a wide range of knowledge across mechanical, electrical, electronic and automation engineering fields. In order to gain that knowledge, they must attend a post-secondary program such as Centennial College’s Energy Systems Engineering Technician program, which takes two years to complete. In order to apply, you must have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. You must also have the credits for compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11M or U, or 12C or U, or skills assessment, or equivalent.
Once you have been accepted, you will discover a program that been designed to teach fundamental skills to understand energy and its uses in our society. The energy systems technician undertaking uses applied research and development projects, practical lab experience and the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art energy systems to prepare its students. Its technical curriculum includes courses such as: Technology Mathematics (covers “intermediate” topics in algebra and trigonometry), Electric Circuits (theory and lab course introduces students to the fundamental principles and theorems of D.C. and A.C. series and parallel resistive circuits), Electronic Devices (introduces students to the Electronic Semiconductor Diodes and Transistors and their basic circuits), and many others. Another standout feature of the program is that it is part of the student chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which allows for networking and other opportunities.
Upon successful completion of the two-year Energy Systems Engineering Technician program, you have the option to enter year three of the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program.
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* This video presents the ideas of emergence, phase transitions and strong vs. weak emergence.
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According to Wikipedia, emergence is conceived as a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties.
In the previous section we discussed how synergistic relations give rise to the phenomena of two or more elements having a greater combined output or effect than the simple product of each in isolation. This process where by the interaction between elements gives rise to something that is greater than the sum of their parts is called emergence.
So where as when we were talking about synergies we simply said that the combined effect was greater than its parts in isolation. The concept of emergence though implies that what is created out of these synergic relations is not just quantitatively different it is in fact qualitatively different. That is to say none of the elements that contribute to the emergence of this new phenomena have its qualities when taken in isolation.
There are many examples of this but maybe the simples is the example of water, water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, neither of these two elements that make up the system have the property or quality of wetness, but when we combine them we get a substance called water that has the quality of being wet, this property of wetness has emerged out of the interaction of the systems elements and it only exists on the systems level.
Another often sited example of emergence is the phenomena of life, biological systems such as a plant cell consist of a set of inanimate molecules none of which in isolation have the property of life, but it is the particular way that these elements are arrange into structures and processes that enable the emergent phenomena of the living system as an entirety.
Our world is full of examples of emergence that we could site, from ant colonies to galaxies and cultures, but all of these are types of structures, where as emergence is really a process, these systems are then the product of a the process of emergence that has play out to create two qualitatively different levels to the system.
Emergence then is a process through which systems develop or we might say grow. During this process unassociated elements interact, synchronize to form synergies and out of this emerges some new and novel phenomena that previously did not exist.
In order to create some qualitatively different and new phenomena the system must go through what we call a phase transition. A phase transition is an often rapid or accelerated period during the process of a systems development, either side of which the fundamental parameters with which we describe the system change qualitatively.
Again there are lots of examples of this such a the phase transition between solid and liquid that a substance goes through when heated, but maybe the most dramatic example is the metamorphose of a butterfly from being a caterpillar to a mature adult. Not only dose the system’s morphology change but the whole set of parameters that we define it with are so drastically altered prior and post the phase transition that we give the creature a whole new names.
Systems Theory: 8 Emergence