This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1457711. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

About Process Troubleshooting Skills in Energy (PTSE)

A series of major accidents in the energy-production sector prompted a consortium of educational institutions and industrial companies to apply for an NSF/ATE grant, for the purpose of developing problem-based equipment, process, and systems troubleshooting instructional materials.

The grant team, working under the name Process Troubleshooting Skills in Energy (PTSE), has the goal of increasing students' knowledge of, and demonstrating skills in, troubleshooting methods and tools that result in safety, environmental, and efficiency improvements in energy systems operations. These operations include petrochemical, refining, power generation, oil and gas production, ethanol production, and biodiesel production.

Through the grant, a set of open source troubleshooting learning materials hae been developed, including equipment and process-specific modules, hands-on activities, evaluation instruments, and other resources. Click on the Learning Materials button to request a User ID/password so you can access the materials.

Additionally, a national troubleshooting shootout competition with qualifying competitions was created, pitting the best student teams from educational institutions across the country. Three National Competitions have been held, with a fourth planned for Spring 2017.


Students Omar Farooq and Paul Hansen participated in the 2016 NSF Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Principal Investigator (PI) Conference in Washington, D.C. The students, members of the winning team of the 2016 National Troubleshooting Competition event, received NSF ATE Student Award of Excellence certificates.