NMCC instructor publishes textbook

12 years ago

NMCC instructor publishes textbook

    PRESQUE ISLE — When Wayne Kilcollins joined the faculty at Northern Maine Community College in 2009, he knew he would face some challenges in getting the college’s new wind power technology program up and running. He just didn’t realize where some of those might come.

    There was curriculum to finalize, a lab to equip, textbooks to purchase and a myriad of other responsibilities to prepare for the ultimate goal of educating students in this new career field. Finding the right textbook proved to be more difficult than he anticipated, but thanks to his initiative, three years later Kilcollins has now resolved that issue for himself and for the instructors of similar programs nationwide.

   BU-NMCC INSTRUCTOR TEXTBOOK-CLR-DCX-ALL-23  “Maintenance Fundamentals for Wind Technicians,” written by Wayne Kilcollins, was released in mid-May. This is the first college textbook focused on wind turbine maintenance for wind technician associate degree programs available in the United States.

    “Necessity is the mother of invention,” said Kilcollins. “I called around to a bunch of publishers and told them what I was looking for and asked if they had anything like what I needed.”

    The response was similar from every publisher — textbooks only existed for four-year and graduate programs.

    “In the United States, wind power is still a young industry. There really was nothing available at the associate degree level,” he said.

    One of the publishers, Delmar Cengage Learning, however, called Kilcollins back to see if he would be willing to write such a book, since it was a market that they wanted to break into. As a new faculty member, trying to develop a new program, Kilcollins felt a little unsure about the daunting task of adding another dimension to his already large job description. After much personal debate, he decided to sign a book contract.

    “I’d never written a book before, so I knew there would be a learning curve, but I had done a lot of writing for my master’s degree,” Kilcollins said. “And in the past, I had written instructional manuals and other workplace documents when I was working in industry, so I knew I could do it.”

    Despite a grueling work schedule, Kilcollins used every available free moment over the last two years to write his textbook.

    “When the program began, we had to be creative in using academic resources from Europe and the general industry,” Kilcollins said. “Now we have a support textbook that was specifically designed to work within our national college system for maintenance activities.”

    “Wayne’s commitment to wind power technology, as well as teaching and learning, have come together in his textbook,” said NMCC President Timothy Crowley. “We expect his work will be used throughout the industry as the demand for technical programs grows. We are fortunate to have him as a faculty member at NMCC, and we congratulate him on this exciting project.”

    Crowley’s prediction is already proving to be true, and NMCC is not the only institution excited about the textbook release. The college’s wind power technology program is one of the first of 10 such programs developed in the United States to serve the growing U.S. wind industry with skilled technicians. Instructors teaching in the other wind programs were also eagerly anticipating the book’s release.

    “All of these instructors are in the same position as I am; they had no textbook to use,” Kilcollins said. “Some of the wind faculty members have already told me what classes they are going to develop around the book.”

    All of the information in “Maintenance Fundamentals for Wind Technicians” was peer reviewed by colleagues from other wind programs.

    The book was unveiled publicly for the first time at the AWEA WindPower Exhibition and Conference in Atlanta at a special ceremony held at the Maine Wind Pavilion booth Tuesday, June 5.

    Prior to coming to NMCC, Kilcollins worked for more than 25 years in electrical components manufacturing and related industries for companies such as Bell Labs, Control Devices, First Technology, and GE Wind Energy.