Generation Strong: Mike Shipman
July 2, 2018
Tackling construction jobs in his late teens and early twenties gave Mike Shipman his first experiences working with heavy operating equipment, structural designs, budgeting, safety and OSHA regulations – a perfect training ground for his current career as an Advanced Scientist in Environmental Field Operations at Harrison Power Station.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Mike worked for PerkinElmer in Bridgeville, Pa. as a Lab Technician. “One element that really interested me during my time there was diagnosing and repairing equipment failures,” said Mike. “It was challenging work, and figuring out issues and fixing them was rewarding. It’s very similar to what we do during our power plant outages – repair equipment, diagnose problems and fix accordingly.”
At Harrison, Mike is responsible for environmental reporting and resolving any environmental-related issues arising at the plant. At some of FirstEnergy’s retired facilities, he oversees general maintenance required by state permits. For the past few years, he’s also coordinated outage projects. “We recently completed our Unit 1 planned outage this past spring, and I coordinated our booster fan replacement projects, ID fan nose liner replacements and Unit 1 stack expansion joint replacement,” Mike explained. The Booster Fan Replacement Project was the critical path driver for Harrison’s outage and involved a wholesale change out of the fan rotors and housing assemblies. “It was a pretty awesome project to coordinate. I had a lot of help from the plant and from corporate Engineering.”
Safety was top priority during the project and is something Mike takes personally. “Working safely not only has an impact on my own family and friends – most of all my wife and three boys – but on everyone else’s families, friends and loved ones as well,” said Mike.
“Everyone relies on electricity for day-to-day living. That’s why we also need to be a reliable company focused on longevity. I want future generations to be able to walk through our generating facility doors and continue to produce electricity as we do today – safely, reliably and cost-effectively.”