Commissioning Training - Thomas Stuenkel

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Commissioning Training 2015: Can Two Commissioning Trainings Save 200 Lives in Ethiopia?

Commissioning Training 2015 Saves 200 Lives

Before the Commissioning Training 2015

It was back in Germany in autumn 1991. Just two years after the Berlin Wall has been opened.

Thomas, a young man from Eastern Germany, started his first working day in a water treatment company in Stuttgart. He traveled 600 km by car to arrive in time.

The Biggest Problems During Commissioning

Uwe, the commissioning team leader from the water treatment company, told him: “The most problems in our water treatment plants during commissioning we have with the DCS and electronic devices. You studied Industrial Electronics so you are an electronics specialist and you can solve the problems we have. And the knowledge about the process you will learn over time …”

What About Commissioning Training?

Thomas, just 25 years old at this time, asked for a commissioning training because he never ever commissioned a plant. Uwe told him: “Here is a pre-commissioning, commissioning & start-up manual for a biological waste water treatment plant. It includes as well the P&IDs and the electrical functional description. You can study this here in our office. If you have any questions ask me or Michael, our most experienced commissioning engineer.”

No, This Is Not a Real Commissioning Training!

Thomas spent five days in the office in the commissioning department. Studied the commissioning documents. Asked Michael, the experienced commissioning engineer, a lot of questions.

At the fifth day, Uwe, the commissioning department leader, told Thomas: “On Monday next week you will go with Michael to Austria. There we have to start-up a water treatment plant. By the way, it’s the same plant you studied the commissioning manual.”

What Is The Speed Limit On German Highways?

At 01:00 am on Monday Thomas started to drive with his car to Austria. He wanted to be there on time. He had to travel 650 km from Eastern Germany to Austria. He made it. Thomas arrived only six hours later.

Michael, the experienced commissioning engineer, arrived on site as well. At noon time. 😉

How Was Your First Time?

Thomas felt quite nice and safe with Michael on his side. They started with P&ID checks and pre-commissioning activities. A few subcontractors arrived as well on the next day.

On the third day, Michael suddenly told to Thomas: “Thomas, our boss in Stuttgart called me a few minutes ago. Tomorrow I have to leave this site. We have problems on our other project and I have to go there. You will wing it here …”

So Thomas had to deal with a complete new situation, in a foreign country and an industrial plant he never saw before.

Learning Commissioning the Hard Way

Thomas - Commissioning EngineerHe learned. He asked. He fought. He worked long hours. And he succeeded.

But it was the hard way to learn.

Thomas was sometimes lost in all the many single tasks. Do you know what was missing? The big picture!

The big picture how to execute pre-commissioning, commissioning and start-up in an efficient and safe manner.

Today is a solution available to get the big picture right at the beginning — a five days commissioning training and even online commissioning training.

Get A Real Commissioning Training – Before Going To Site

Thomas worked as a commissioning engineer and a commissioning manager worldwide for more than 20 years now. Not only in water treatment plants — but as well in chemical, petrochemical, power and even solar silicon production industries.

In 2010, he delivered together with Ralph W. “Pete” Peters from TMEI his first commissioning training in Iran. Since then he trained people from different countries like Estonia, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Peru, Canada, Netherlands & Germany.

In 2014, Thomas, founded the company Commissioning Coaching Consulting, Inc. (CCC) in Panama City, Republic of Panama.

CCC delivered two commissioning trainings in Dubai, UAE and Panama City, Republic of Panama in 2014.

2015 will get even more exciting! Check out now the commissioning training schedule for the five days live training courses in Dubai, Bangkok, Munich, Calgary and Panama City.

23 Years Later And USD 6,000 More For Clean Water

Because Thomas still has a strong connection to water and water treatment plants, he decided to donate 10% of the commissioning training fee to charity: water in the year 2014.

charity: water is a non-profit organization on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet.

The donation of USD 6,000 will be used to sponsor an entire water project for about 200 people in Ethiopia. We are expecting the funds to be deployed in Ethiopia in March/April 2015.

If you want to be informed about this project just subscribe to the commissioning newsletter.

Let’s Double the Impact!

Commissioning Training Saves 200 LivesThomas started the campaign “Commissioning Experts Bring Clean Water” in January 2015. The goal is to double the amount of USD 6,000 his company already donated to help to bring clean water to 200 more people.

Please donate here and double the impact!

Thank you very much!


Leave a Comment

  • Charlie Engel January 19, 2015, 5:36 pm

    Great newsletter – It is great looking back
    and remembering all the situations you were put in and not having a clue what
    you were doing. I started in 1979 QA/QC commissioning/start-up at a
    Nuclear Power Plant about 23 years old. Everyone telling me what to do
    with no explanation why. We must stay in touch. Thanks, Charlie

  • Thomas Stuenkel January 19, 2015, 5:44 pm

    Hello Charlie,

    Thank you very much for your comment.

    Wow, you have 36 years of commissioning experience now!

    Yes, let’s stay in touch.


  • khedimallah January 19, 2015, 7:55 pm

    hello M- thomas how are you
    we tank’s for your sincerely and feed back to me d’ont have the avairage touch I came as a touriste I have heard and learn your brobleme about the systemems RO-unit so for to joind you and help, give me chance to participate and sent me the invitation from the campany to avoid or take visa to flay .is dificulte to take visa from consul germany or franch or uae. please send me the P&Ds about the systeme to training at home I will be there whene will test take place. god bless you.
    kind regards

  • khedimallah January 19, 2015, 8:03 pm

    hello thomas having more thane 26 years experience in this industry and unoff, pret commissioning and commissioning at start -up also test the performoncy have long experience in gas lpg systems recovry gtl gnl ..ext also have experience in RO-unit and west traitement solide for me I can shere my experience with you and improuving more in future.
    all the best to you

  • TUSHAR MAHIDA January 20, 2015, 5:46 am


  • Thomas Stuenkel January 20, 2015, 2:01 pm

    Hello khedimallah,

    In May 2015 I will open the doors for an ONLINE commissioning training. So there will be no need for you to apply for a visa.

    I will announce the availability for the online commissioning training here on my website and through my newswletter.

    All the best,


  • Thomas Stuenkel January 20, 2015, 2:03 pm

    Hello Tushar,

    Thank you very much for your comment! 🙂

    It was a great time with you and the entire team in Maaden.

    Yes, I hope we will see us agin soon.

    All the best,


  • Adam Vincent Tio-ong February 23, 2015, 9:03 am

    Hi Thomas,

    My first time to do a commissioning was back when I was part of the project team and we did a commissioning of a Raw Water and Fire Water line so all the water flushing and tightness testing was a new term for me.. I could imagine how you feel when your task to do things you didnt have formal training with…. because even with formal training you feel nervouse how much more when you dont have…