J. Taylor Beard's Municipal Waste Combustor Operator Training Program

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J. Taylor Beard, PhD, P.E.
Associate Professor Emeritus
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia

Mailing Address:

MAE Department
122 Engineer's Way
PO Box 400746
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4746

Home Office Phone: 434-973-6963
E-mail: jtb@virginia.edu


This course presents an updated version of the municipal waste combustor (MWC) operator training program which was developed for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. A course notebook containing copies of all the visual aids and descriptive materials will be provided to each participant.


The primary goal is to provide an adequate level of knowledge for operators to successfully complete the ASME QRO Provisional Certification Examination (ASME Standard for Qualifications and Certification of Municipal Waste Combustor Operators, ASME QRO-1- 2005). The ASME QRO Provisional Certification Examination is composed of three parts.

Part 1 (25%) focuses on solid waste management, including waste composition, collection, alternative disposal, ash disposal, and regulatory requirements.

Part 2 (25%) includes the theoretical aspects of combustion, chemistry, thermodynamics, mechanical and electrical technology, and air emissions control and monitoring.

Part 3 (50%) focuses on the operational aspects of resource recovery facilities, including materials handling, boilers, turbine/generator sets, ash disposal, O&M, safety, control room operations, and air emissions monitoring systems and their calibration.


The course presents information in the subject areas addressed in the ASME Examination for Certification as Chief Facility Operators and Shift Supervisors. The training program focuses on the knowledge required by operators to understand the basis for good combustion practices of municipal waste combustor facilities.

The sequence of topics, presented in the course agenda, has been selected to reinforce the basic aspects with applications from operational experiences. The course identifies various operational problems which limit MWC system performance and environmental compliance. The basic concepts of combustion system design, combustion control and instrumentation are presented. Participants will gain a better understanding of how air pollutants are formed and controlled. Emphasis is placed on operational features which provide for the safe control of combustion, limited air pollutant emissions, and normal operation of boilers and electric generators.


The course provides training for chief facility operators and shift supervisors of MWC units. Other persons who should benefit from this operator training include: MWC operating and management staff members, engineers, technical managers, mechanics, instrument and control technicians, and maintenance personnel.


J. Taylor Beard, PhD, P.E., Associate Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, University of Virginia was the primary developer of the Municipal Waste Combustor Operator Training Program for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has taught the MWC Operator Training course, using up-dated materials, 28 times since 1992.

Taylor Beard's engineering interests include thermal systems design, combustion and air pollution control from stationary combustion equipment and the application of heat transfer analysis in modelling of thermal systems. He was also the primary developer of the USEPA course "Combustion Evaluation in Air Pollution Control." He also developed the University of Wisconsin course: "Boiler Plant Optimization, Basic Concepts and Applications." He has presented more than 100 combustion related short courses for engineers, plant operators, and air quality control officials.

Taylor Beard's professional experience also includes positions with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (1979), Energy and Environmental Research Corporation (1991-92), and Associated Environmental Consultants (since 1971).