Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Montana State University-Northern now has state-of-the art diesel equipment courtesy of the 2007 Legislature and donations to match the legislative grant. “The fact that the state has agreed to put those plugs into these programs is really a big thing,” said Greg Kegel, dean of the College of Technical Sciences at Northern, adding that the fact that Havre’s university received one of the largest grants is also a big thing. Northern used about $120,000 of a $345,000 legislative grant to buy 10 Cummins diesel engines to place in the Davey Pioneer Lab on campus. The 2007 Legislature appropriated one-time-only funds for schools to use to buy equipment, Kegel said. “(It was) to gear up the technical capacity of the technical schools, and Northern has a technical component,” he said. The money was granted on a competitive basis, and Northern successfully wrote applications to receive one of the largest grants from the program, Hegel said. Once funds from a variety of donations were used to apply matching funds for the grant, it came to nearly $500,000, he added. Along with the Cummins engines, Northern purchased diagnostic and testing equipment to use on the new engines and on other engines on the campus. Kegel said some of the diesel engines the university had been using, from a variety of manufacturers, dated back to the 1930s and 40s. While those engines will still be used, the new engines will allow instructors to base their teaching on more modern technology. The Cummins engines have the “latest and greatest technology with emmissions and fuel injection systems,” Kegel said. Northern also recently received another engine, a Detroit diesel engine, specifically made for the university. No engine was available with the technology needed, so Northern commissioned its manufacture and waited almost a year for its delivery. “These engines were one of a number of different things we were able to integrate into our curriculum,” Kegel said. The trade programs at Northern also received money from the one-time-only funds. In the last five or six years, the university has started programs in plumbing, electricity and construction that are tied into state requirements for apprenticeship or certification. For example, a student graduating from the plumbing program can apply coursework toward part of the required five-year apprenticeship with a master plumber. Kegel said the trade programs received $100,000 they used to purchase high-end equipment used in the trades, equipment which can be a little difficult for schools to obtain. “They got a real nice shot in the arm,” he said.