This two-day, (approx. 12 hour) course will be conducted by Peter Smith, P.Eng., M.Sc., Principal Mechanical Engineer with Helmsman Projects and one of Alberta’s foremost experts in centrifugal pumps for pipeline service.  Attending this course will give you a better understanding of the operating principles of centrifugal pumps and the situations in which they should be applied, and you will gain confidence in future decisions regarding their selection, application, specification and installation in pumping systems.


Peter Smith is a professional engineer with over 35 years experience.  More than 25 years of this has been in the design of over 200 pumping stations and pumping systems for pipelines, terminals, petrochemical plants and irrigation systems as Lead Mechanical Engineer or Lead Mechanical/Process engineer.  Clients have included Alberta Energy Company Ltd., Enbridge (Interprovincial Pipeline Ltd.), Kinder Morgan (Terasen, Corridor and Trans Mountain Pipeline), Husky Canada, Pembina Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Pipelines, Inter Pipeline Fund, Suncor (Petro-Canada) and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.    

Peter’s most recent projects as lead mechanical/process engineer have been:

  • Corridor Pipeline System – four pipelines with six pump stations and over 49,000 installed horsepower
  • Electrification of the Alaska Pipeline – four pump stations with 89,000 installed horsepower, and 
  • Corridor Expansion – over 200,000 installed horsepower planned for the ultimate configuration.

Peter also recently worked for two years as a subject matter expert for Enbridge, teaching, mentoring, trouble-shooting existing facilities problems, and helping rewrite their pump specifications and engineering standards.


  1. To give a basic understanding of how centrifugal pumps work, touch on bearings seals and seal flush types, review how to read and modify pump curves, how to select an appropriate centrifugal pump and what pump modifications can be made by the vendor to better suit a pump to a particular service.
  2. To give a basic understanding of how to configure and control centrifugal pumps, the advantages and disadvantages of series, parallel and series/parallel configurations and of control by pressure control valve or variable frequency drives.
  3. To give a basic understanding of hydraulic gradient charts and system curves, motor sizing and pump and station startup and shutdown.
  4. To give an overview of what should be in a pump specification, how to fill out data sheets for API 610 pumps, what exceptions to API 610 are desirable, and what options for API 610 centrifugal pumps are desirable.
  5. To give an overview of how to install pipeline horizontal centrifugal pumps including pump piping and pros and cons of various baseplate designs.


This course is primarily intended for designers (engineers or technologists) in the mechanical or process fields who design pipeline pumping systems and pump stations utilizing centrifugal pumps.  It would be of benefit to project managers or engineers, and pump station operators to help in understanding the limitations of their existing pumping systems or possible system improvements.  Pump vendors will gain a better understanding of how their products may be applied.