Lakeland College offers a powerful future

 Shawna Dillon is looking forward to beginning a career in power engineering.

Dillon’s three-year Lakeland College journey began in 2014, when Dillon completed the heavy oil and gas (HOG) program, earning certification as a production field operator.

“The HOG program really opened doors for me,” she said. Advancing her studies, Dillon completed Lakeland’s heavy oil operations technician (HOOT) program in 2015. With this certificate program, she earned her fourth class power engineering and had the opportunity to learn in the Husky Energy power engineering lab.

Now that Dillon’s completed the heavy oil power engineering (HOPE) program, she also has her third class power engineering.

Dillon gained valuable hands-on training as one of the first HOPE students to train in Lakeland’s Energy Centre. She worked on a team to generate heat and power for the Lloydminster campus. In fact, second-year HOPE students produce and supply up to 215 kilowatts of electricity during peak performance to the Lloydminster campus.

“The best part about everything was learning about the industry. At first, I knew very little and now I am prepared,” said Dillon. “I accomplished everything I wanted to at Lakeland.”

Shawna Dillon

Lakeland College is the only post-secondary institution in Western Canada to create an integrated power plant – the Energy Centre – featuring a once-through steam generator for heavy oil training. In addition to HOPE and HOOT, Lakeland offers online blended courses for fourth and third class power engineering training as well as other energy-related programs and courses that can result in careers such as gas process operator, production field operator, and fired process heater operator.

The energy department is now developing a face-to-face second class power engineering program it hopes to offer soon.

Established in 1913, Lakeland College is a place of possibility that serves more than 8,300 students every year at its campuses in Vermilion, Alta., and Lloydminster, Alta./Sask., and through online and off-site programs and courses. An award-winning global leader in student-managed learning experiences, Lakeland excels at providing students with the opportunity to take the lead. Lakeland’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation is a test-bed for innovations in agriculture, energy and environmental sciences. For more information visit


  • HOOT and HOPE students achieved an 86 per cent pass rate for the fourth class Alberta Boilers Safety Authority (ABSA) exam, trumping the 2015 provincial pass rate of 67 per cent.
  • The Energy Centre was recognized with an award of merit for building engineering at the 2016 Consulting Engineers of Alberta’s showcase awards.
  • Nine out of 10 Lakeland graduates are currently employed. (Source: Class of 2014 Graduate Follow-up Survey, 2016)

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