Norstec Academy Takes On Three Journalism Students
The Norstec Academy will engage journalism students from the University of Lincoln and City University, London in a two week-long student tours of the offshore renewables industry.
The tour “prize” is the outcome of a student competition launched in May this year and is focused on showcasing the wealth of opportunities offered by offshore renewables. Journalism students Dan Brown and Ben Staff from Lincoln and Nancy Fleming from London will support the Norstec team during the first and second weeks of the tour in capturing and documenting student perceptions and experiences on film, in writing, and through social media.
The Norstec Academy aims to engage the next generation of employees in the offshore wind industry, and give students from all disciplines a taste of opportunities that are available in the renewable energy sector. As part of this, a group of twenty students, who took part in the competition, will be given a unique week-long ‘Carousel’ tour of the industry run by the Academy. From engineering to PR, from law to sales and financing, the winning students will have the opportunity to meet key players in the industry, visit sites, and see how they can help shape its future.
Dan and Ben were drawn to the opportunity to be a part of the tour, recognising how important the renewable energy sector is, and the exciting opportunities the offshore wind industry has to offer. They hope to present the tour in a way that will resonate with and inspire students who are not lucky enough to be there themselves.
“Not only do we have reporting skills, but the competition winners are in a social group that we know best, and we are more than used to writing for this particular audience. Our studies have put a particular focus on reporting student stories, so being able to put these skills to practice in a real working environment, one which has a particularly positive back-drop, is incredibly rewarding for us,” said Ben.
“It’s a fast-growing industry, and one that students of today can have a huge influence on in the future,” said Dan. “The wind energy industry will help the environment and also has the potential to provide huge economic benefits to the UK. We have just celebrated Global Wind Day [Sunday, 15 June] and hopefully more young people will take an interest in the industry, which Ben and I can help build on with the tour. It will also be a great experience for us, and gives us the chance to learn more about an industry we could well be involved in the coming years.”
Nancy echoes the views of Ben and Dan. “I met the Norstec team as part of a project – The Energy Gap – I was working on about the energy industry. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and interview a number of key Norstec people and was really inspired by this initiative. I jumped at the chance to be part of this. Our generation has grown up with “green issues” and this is a great opportunity to get across what the industry is really about.”
All three students have already engaged with Norstec student Ambassadors, such as Audrey Bowie from Siemens. Audrey studied Product Design Engineering at university, followed by a Masters in Renewable Energy Systems, Audrey has been involved in the wind power industry since 2012, and has helped promote the Academy and generate interest in the competition. She believes renewable and sustainable energy is essential, and that it is important to communicate the facts about offshore wind. In an interview with Dan, she said:
“There are a lot of myths surrounding offshore wind; that wind-turbines are not efficient and don’t return the energy that is used to make them,” she said. “But that is absolutely not true. They are becoming more and more efficient and effective every day, and are an important part of the sustainable energy market.”
Audrey also has a strong connection with Lincoln, having spent six months there at Siemens during her graduate programme.