Companies such as Fluor Corp. and Bechtel Corp. often compete against one another to win engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts from oil and gas and chemicals clients. Many of the projects they vie for require the services of rigging engineers and lift planners, but there are shared concerns throughout the EPC sector about the future supply of qualified load handling specialists. As a result, they collaborated with nearly 20 other companies and organizations to create what is reportedly the world’s first and only rigging engineering program.
“This program is designed for lift planners, crane and rigging managers and other non-engineers who conduct lift planning activities,” said Arin Ceglia, director of learning and development with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which has vetted the program and approved it for continuing education units. “However, there are no experience requirements in order to qualify for this program. Anyone interested in rigging may complete this program.”
ASME has vetted the nine-course “Fundamentals of Rigging Engineering” program – administered by Industrial Training International (ITI) – and has approved it for continuing education units (CEUs). According to ITI, more than 120 students have begun the program to become crane and rigging professionals. ASME also reports that 14 individuals have completed the approximately two-year slate of required and elective courses, which are offered online and on-demand, on-site at ITI training centers and at various locations worldwide.
Trapper Wyman, lift manager with Pennsylvania-based Mansfield Crane Service Corp., and Sam Moyer, a registered professional engineer with Ohio-based All Erection & Crane Rental Corp., are among the first group to complete “Fundamentals of Rigging Engineering.” They recently chatted with Rigzone to discuss the pioneering educational initiative and their perspectives on rigging engineering as a career.
Rigzone: What should students expect in the program?
Wyman: To further their understanding of the dynamics of lifting and rigging equipment and a broad knowledge of all the options available to accomplish as well as bridge the gap that usually exists between the field and office.
Moyer: Students of the program should set out and expect to learn about new techniques, resources and methods to solve rigging engineering problems from experts in our field.
Rigzone: What did you find most surprising or eye-opening?
Moyer: Exploring load handing techniques that were outside of my past experience truly caused me to reconsider certain challenges were being solved and think about processes that may be more efficient despite being unconventional to me.
Wyman: How much I thought I knew about lifting and rigging but found out that I did not actually understand. This program solidified a foundation of learning in the field.
Rigzone: What was most challenging and rewarding about the program?
Moyer: For me it was the breadth of information that was covered. The amount of resources and references provided were exceptional; keeping them organized and gaining a working knowledge of them was challenging but also has been a real benefit to me.
Wyman: The program takes time and dedication to get through but was rewarding in that I could implement what I had learned the day before immediately into the next day’s work. So, after a while, it was not hard to go through the program since I did not want to miss out on what I could be using to get ahead.
Rigzone: What do you enjoy most about your new career?
Wyman: I have been able to use these skills and knowledge in planning work and creating lift plans that exceed customer expectations.
Moyer: I love the challenge of solving unique problems every day. Every phone call and email is a new opportunity.