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A graduate lands his dream job at CERN in Switzerland on the Large Hadron Collider

Ryder Sharpe next to the LHC

Ryder Sharpe entered BCIT’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology program in 2019 and hasn’t looked back. During his first year, he entered a 9-month cooperative program and began working at Pacific Powertech Inc. where he gained valuable hands-on experience and knowledge working as a field service technologist at various substations around BC. His positive experience there inspired him to enter the Electrical Power and Industrial Control Option in 2020.

During his second year of studies, Ryder completed his Capstone project which involved working as part of a team to design a Run-of-River Hydroelectric dam. Such dams are a type of hydroelectric power plant using the natural flow of a river to generate electricity. As such, they do not require the construction of a large reservoir to store water, making them a more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional hydroelectric dams. The project required a thorough understanding of power technology and the principles of electrical power generation as well as control systems. With his team, Ryder developed detailed plans for the dam/power plant, including the layout, cost analysis, and specifications for the various components.

After graduation, Ryder worked as a Cyclotron Operator and Electrical Engineering Technologist at TRIUMF. His role was to troubleshoot, repair and operate Cyclotrons (a type of particle accelerator) which deliver proton beams to achieve medical isotope production. He also worked on many different subsystems such as turbo molecular pumps, cryogenic pumps and PLC’s. Currently Ryder is working in the magnet protection section at CERN to ensure optimal function of protection systems for the Large Hadron Collider. He is responsible for designing tests to measure the function of various equipment. Ultimately, his goal is to ensure that if any beamline magnets transition from superconducting state to normal resistive state, they do not develop excessive voltage and local overheating.

Ryder states that “The education I received at BCIT was invaluable in helping me on my journey post-graduation. BCIT’s practical approach to learning provided exciting and challenging opportunities to apply my knowledge and skills to real-world problems. Through my coursework, I gained a deep understanding of the principles and technologies involved in the design, operation, and maintenance of electrical power systems. Overall, the education I received at BCIT has been a key factor in my success post-graduation.”

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