James ChiuSteampath Engineer MD&A Repairs
In 2006, I graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a minor degree in aerospace engineering. After graduating college, I worked for Alstom® as a steam turbine engineer. I supported both field engineering and the Alstom repair workshop with documentation and engineering dispositions. In 2017, I moved to St. Louis to start my career with MD&A.
What do you do here at MD&A? What aspect do you enjoy most about your role at MD&A?
At the MD&A St. Louis repair workshop, I am a steampath engineer/project manager. I inspect steampath components such as rotors, diaphragms, blade carriers, and packing carriers. I develop repair recommendations for the steampath components based on inspection findings. I support the technicians with MD&A repair procedures, drawings, and other supporting documentation. One thing I like about working at the shop is the ability to get hands on with the steampath components.
What is the most interesting job/ challenge you have come across at the shop?
I worked on a rotor which was not for a steam turbine but used in a chemical drying process. The rotor was essentially a stainless-steel cladded pipe with threaded-on stainless steel paddles. I applied my knowledge in steam turbine rotors when inspecting and repairing the dryer rotor.
How are rotor body indications repaired?
Some minor indications can be removed by grinding or machining. For deeper indications, the workshop may need to CNC machine the areas with indications. The geometry can be optimized based on finite element analysis results. Rotors with deep indications may require a weld repair and stress relief. The repair recommendation will be based on a thorough inspection of the rotor.
What are the different types of steam turbine buckets worked on at the workshop? Can MD&A replace these types of buckets?
MD&A works with all kinds of steam turbine buckets from many original equipment manufacturers. The workshop has worked on tangential entry, radial entry, and axial entry buckets. The shop has worked on various cover types (peened tenons, integral covers with tie wire, and integral covers with a tight interference design). We can reverse engineer, supply, and replace these various types of buckets.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to build computers.