Clean Currents Speaker Spotlight: David A. Chapman

Clean Currents Speaker Spotlight: David A. Chapman

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David Chapman, Hydropower Training Program Manager in the Hydropower Technical Support Branch in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Nashville District is leading a Roundtable Dialogue at the upcoming Clean Currents Conference + Tradeshow on the important topic of training of O&M trades and crafts personnel.

The 1-hour roundtable Chapman is leading is titled” “Focus on O&M Trades and Crafts: Training Programs and Knowledge Transfer.” The session takes place on Thursday, October 21, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Discussion centers around:

  • What are the biggest challenges when it comes to training trades and crafts personnel?
  • What are training programs that work?
  • What materials are already available?
  • What kind of outreach is occurring to technical and trade schools to recruit new workers?

New Roundtable Format

Chapman’s session is one of 10 Roundtable Dialogues being offered at Clean Currents.

These sessions feature informal, open discussions led by a facilitator. There are no formal presenters or PowerPoint presentations. Instead, the learning is driven by the needs and knowledge of those attendees in the room. Essentially, everyone in the room is a teacher and a learner.

The purpose of these sessions is to take full advantage of the fact that the participants have come from many different regions, with different skills, challenges, and opportunities, says the National Hydropower Association, owner and organizer of Clean Currents.

Why the Topic of Training Is So Important

David Chapman has great passion for all things hydropower and the development and advancement of the individuals working within it. “In my opinion, training the men and women who work in hydro plants and literally ‘keep the lights on’ is at the top of the to do list for any hydro asset owner.

Chapman knows a lot about the subject. He currently chairs the Corps-wide Hydropower Craft Training Workgroup, leading the team in revising current engineering regulations pertaining to training hydropower plant personnel.  He is also a member of the Corps’ National Hydropower Operations and Maintenance Advisory Committee. And, he worked at a national level as a team member in drafting the career path for job series 5407 Electric Power Controlling.

“David has deep operations and maintenance experience and is our national lead for activities related to training of our skilled trades and craft personnel,” says Daniel Rabon, national hydropower program manager for the Corps.

Get to Know David Chapman

Chapman is responsible for managing and administering the training and development program for hydroelectric power plant personnel working in the Corps’ Nashville District. The district operates nine hydro projects in the Cumberland River Basin.

Chapman has served in a variety of capacities, both with the Corps and in private industry.  He has spent time working with Corps’ headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a hydropower specialist. While there, he was responsible for preparing the 2018 Report to Congress on Expediting Non-Federal Hydropower Development at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facilities, per the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.

Prior to assuming his current position, he came up through the Nashville District Hydropower Training program to the level of Senior Power Plant Shift Operator at Wolf Creek Power Plant in Jamestown Kentucky. At Wolf Point, he was responsible for the daily operation of two power plants and switchyards.

Before working for the Corps, Chapman worked in industrial maintenance in a wide range of industries –auto, machine tool, and poultry processing. He was responsible for routine maintenance, repairs, and new installs of various types of machinery with various levels of voltages, hydraulic, pneumatic, and robotic operating mechanisms.

He earned an Associates in Applied Science Industrial Maintenance Technology with High Distinction from Somerset Community College in the spring of 2007.  He has certificates in Fluid Power Mechanics, Industrial Maintenance Machinists, Industrial Maintenance Electrical Mechanic, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Level 1, and Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Level 2.  He was also a member of the PHI THETA KAPPA Society.

Chapman is an avid musician and golfer – admitting he is not great at either. (At one point in his life, he had aspirations of becoming a rock star, which never panned out!)