Video: A fascinating portrait of a steam plant's chief engineer

Conrad Milster is the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York’s chief engineer and has been working at the power plant for over 50 years. Conrad Milster is also such a wonderful character and this short doc on his life is such a joy to watch. You get to see the old technology and gear of the steam plant along with his quirks and cats and it’s all illuminated by his endlessly interesting personality.

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Dustin Cohen, who made the documentary, writes:

Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute’s chief engineer, has worked in the Brooklyn power plant nearly his entire adult life. Starting as a mechanic in 1958, he later became one of only four chief engineers in the plant’s 127-year history, taking over the official duties in 1965. He’s been there ever since.

For the last six decades, Milster (now 79 years old) has lovingly maintained the nineteenth century steam engines that provide heat and hot water to Pratt’s campus. “We have our hands full,” says Milster. “If the plant stops in the winter, Pratt stops.”

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DISCUSSION

StevenAutry
Steven Autry

Great video showing how much work goes into maintaining a complex system. I wonder if Pratt has a plan for when the operator is unable to work. They will probably have to hire an engineering firm just to figure out whay is going on with all the equipment. I doubt if they even have drawings of the facility.