A resurgence in coal-fired power generation has resulted in a severe shortage of trained power plant air-quality engineers, according to The McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com). The research house describes the shortage as universal, and says there are not enough trained people at the power plants, the consulting firms, or at the supplier companies serving the coal industry. Further, it says the lack of expertise in this area is worldwide and accelerating as developing countries are investing in better air-quality systems.

As a result of the shortage, McIlvaine believes experienced engineers will be forced to take on added responsibility while thousands of new hires are trained. McIlvaine covers the air-quality systems market in its online market research service “Power Plant Air Quality Decisions.” To better serve its air-quality engineering needs, McIlvaine says the coal industry will have to invest in education and productivity training to help bring on new engineering talent in a timely manner while giving their experienced engineers the tools they need to be more productive.