Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Engineering-port industry consortium holds project management seminar

KINGSVILLE - May 04, 2006

Contact: Jill Trant
jill.trant@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2146

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Engineering-Port Industry Consortium continued to pursue its objective of advancing the technical knowledge and skills of local engineering practitioners in the field by holding the seminar “Project Management” on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus Wednesday-Friday, May 3-5.

Twenty-three engineering practitioners signed up for the course, including five employees of CITGO, four from Duke Energy, one from the Port of Corpus Christi, two from Celanese, two from Flint Hills, six from Mustang Engineering and three from Valero.

Paul Williams and Mickey Collins, president and vice president of Pathfinder, LLC, conducted the seminar.

Williams has over 25 years of experience in project management and project engineering working for owner and contractor organizations. Williams has experience leading projects in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, microelectronics, petroleum and the chemical process industries. In addition to this, Williams has managed major capital projects and programs with responsibilities from planning, staffing, design, scheduling, cost control, procurement, construction and start-up.

Collins is a vice president of Pathfinder LLC. He has over 33 years of management, project management, planning, project controls and contracting experience in the manufacturing, fabrication, engineering and construction industries. Collins is a certified professional engineer and a professional project manager. Notable accomplishments include management responsibilities for functional excellence of a project management department that included 55 project managers and $350 million in capital project expenditure annualy.

The consortium was formed in 2003 by Dr. Ali Pilehvari, professor and chair of the chemical and natural gas engineering department at A&M-Kingsville, and George Frondorf, Strategic Planning Manager of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The consortium’s objectives are to provide high quality, local technical courses to practicing engineers and to foster close cooperation between the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at A&M-Kingsville and local industry. Some additional objectives of the consortium include enhancing faculty interaction with industry and furthering the competency of the future workforce.

The consortium is run by a board that meets every four months to determine the consortium future activities. The board is made up of a representative from each member company, along with several faculty members from the College of Engineering. Frondorf is the current chair. The group determines, through surveys and direct feedback, what industry topics need to be covered through training and which nationally-known experts will serve as a trainers.

Currently, there are 10 member companies of the consortium. They are Celanese, CITGO, Duke Energy, DuPont, Equistar, Flint Hills, Maverick Engineering, Mustang Engineering, the Port of Corpus Christi and Valero. According to Pilehvari, the A&M-Kingsville director of the consortium, several other companies are in the process of joining the consortium.

The consortium is open to any local industry of South Texas or support service industry, upon entering into a collaboration agreement with A&M-Kingsville and payment of an annual fee of $1,500.

Consortium non-members are able to attend future courses and workshops on a space-available basis.

For more information on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Engineering-Port Industry Consortium and upcoming workshops, call 361-593-2002.


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