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An alarm is ringing in a room at Pierpont filled with monitors showing power plant control room operations.

The vibrations of a turbine, which should be low, are abnormally high, setting off the alert. If the turbine keeps going at this rate, it will shut down.

“If the turbine spins, everybody wins. If it doesn’t spin, we all lose.”

Those words were spoken by Doug Furr, Applied Process Technology coordinator at Pierpont, who was the reason for the high vibrations. He had set a hypothetical turbine at that high rate in a simulation room, in which students in the degree program prepare for the real thing. “It’s a safe place to screw up,” Pierpont Director of Marketing and Public Relations Bo Sellers says.

Preparing students for the real world is the role of a college, and that’s definitely true in the Applied

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