Nunez Community College’s Industrial Technology (PTEC) Program hosts Tulane University engineering students for hands-on learning

Margaret Hayes of Birmingham, AL; Charles Clayton of New Orleans, LA; Donnie Yanowsky of Olive Branch, MS; all juniors in Tulane’s chemical engineering program reviewing a schematic on-site at Nunez Community College’s distillation plant.

Chemical engineering students from Tulane University in New Orleans received hands-on training April 27 at Nunez Community College’s on-campus industrial technology distillation plant. 2017 marks the fourth year that Nunez and Tulane have worked collaboratively to offer this learning experience to students at both higher education institutions.

A smaller version of corporate chemical plants, Nunez’s distillation plant allows students to apply theory to practice and develop troubleshooting skills in a controlled setting. Funded through a grant between Nunez, Tulane, and Xavier University by the Louisiana Board of Regents’ Research Competitiveness and Education Enhancement Program, the plant uses a distillation process to separate methanol from water.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our PTEC students to use their skills as operators, while helping future engineers understand the important role that operators play in this industry,” said Nunez PTEC program manager, Larry Whitmarsh who facilitated the experience at the on campus distillation plant.

After graduation, many of the Tulane students go on to work in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, chemical plants, and the oil industry as designers of plants. Nunez’s PTEC graduates design, install, operate, maintain, and repair complex industrial machinery. They also as well as diagnose and solve equipment problems using a wide array of skills, and are educated in safety procedures in order to endure the success of production in industries.

Dr. Thomas Warner, chancellor of Nunez Community College, said that these visits continue to satisfy one aspect of the grant which is to “enhance communication between operators and engineers” in petrochemical plants. Collaboration between operators and engineers is essential to a variety of industries.

Prospective students interested in PTEC or other programs at Nunez can apply to the College online at The PTEC department can be reached via phone at (504) 278-6384. General questions about admissions and enrollment at Nunez can be directed to Student Affairs at (504) 278-6467.

Nunez Community College is an open-enrollment comprehensive community college offering over 30 academic and technical programs. Registration for summer and fall classes is open now. Visit or call (504) 278-6467 to apply and enroll.