New Instructor Has Passion for Pipelines

New Instructor Has Passion for Pipelines

Sara Plummer
New Instructor Has Passion for Pipelines

Even though this is the first time Joe Bartlett has worked as a faculty member, he’s no stranger to teaching. Working in the private sector, Bartlett taught employees, project managers and inspectors all related to the pipeline industry for close to 20 years.

His wife, who works at the OSU Medical Center, brought the pipeline integrity teaching position to Bartlett’s attention.

“This type of position gives back to the industry, and it provides a service to the industry,” Bartlett said.

With more than 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the United States transporting 65 percent of the country’s oil and nearly all of its natural gas, having skilled workers to maintain that complex network of pipelines is a top concern for the energy industry.

“The amount of products in the pipeline would be the equivalent of a line of tanker trucks making 17 loops around the moon. Can you imagine all those tanker trucks on the road?” he said. “The pipeline industry is the safest transportation industry in the U.S.”

The Pipeline Integrity Technology program started at OSU Institute of Technology in the fall semester with nine students, but the demand is much higher.

“I have a list of 28 companies that would like to hire somebody,” he said, so the program’s future graduates have the potential to work in the pipeline industry in an array of areas for a variety of companies.

“They have so many different paths they can take: tank inspector, pipeline technician, control room monitors, working for a pipeline vendor. These jobs aren’t all necessarily field jobs,” Bartlett said.

He would know. Bartlett worked in the private sector of pipeline industry for more than 30 years. Even now, through his teaching, he’s still contributing to the field he loves.

“It gets in your blood. It’s the kind of thing where you realize you’re helping people. You’re keeping them warm, keeping them moving,” he said. “There’s always something unique, some kind of challenge.”

During his three decades working in the industry, Bartlett worked all over the world.

“My early jobs, I traveled a lot and that got real old real fast. I got to a point where I had been everywhere I had wanted to go,” he said, so the teaching position at OSUIT also gave him the chance to stay close to home.

Bartlett started in October and is enjoying his time in the classroom, although he’s still getting used to the policies and procedures of teaching at a university.

“I’m real impressed. This place continues to surprise me daily,” he said. “Finding out all the different things this university does, the resources and the interest from the private sector to help.”