BUILDING BRIDGES

Research and development play a vital role In renewable energy as well as a steady stream of young engineers geared up to meet the current challenges In the Industry. Enter: the European Wind Energy Master Programme (EWEM) which prepares the world’s future engineers. The programme is a joint effort between the Delft University of Technology, the Technical University of Denmark, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg (UniOl). Each university has a strong background of research and development and the complete program trains professionals to become resourceful problem-solvers in a highly international environment.

Aeolus

Niels Waars: “At ASE ‘Aeolus’, the Association for Students of EWEM, we want to bring another level of depth to the programme by creating a bridge between the students and the industry through excursions to companies, guest lectures and case studies. EWEM offers four tracks, defined to the interests and strengths of prospective students, who will attend two to four of the universities involved.

Each university has its own specialty -depending on where you want to develop, for instance electrical engineering, you decide where you want to go. When you have finished the four years, you will be able join the sector at a high level.”

Cultural diversity

Irene Rivera Arreba: “What I like about the EWEM programme is that we have a great diversity of cultures. The universities involved belong to the best in the world, so naturally, that attracts students from all over the world.” The age group of students ranges from 21 to about 33 years of age. As Jorge Mendoza Espinosa mentions: “In Europe is it more common to do your masters right after your college but this is not so for other countries. At Aeolus it is our goal to increase the value of the education for all students. We can do that by increasing the involvement of companies and elevating the value of program and the social coherence of the students. And yes, that is quite a challenge for different universities. What you do see are strong bonds between students. Even after they have left the programme, they still feel connected.”

Bridge between student and industry

“If you break it down, we have two main goals. We organise visits to industry and company lectures. This is so important, as we need to get a feeling of what we will able to do when we graduate and become dedicated to the industry. Who could be out future employer? Next to that, we attend trade fairs and also visit wind farms. Key is that the companies also get to know the students. We now have two generations who have graduated from the programme and are working for a broad range of companies”, says Waars. The level of graduates is high and the students have a strong network thanks to meeting many companies as well as being in contact with the alumni.

Future perspective

When asked what the future looks like for the three students, they all have different plans in mind. Ranging from working anywhere offshore-related to being dedicated to delving into floating wind turbines and perhaps starting an own business. Currently the students already delve into future challenges: Working on 10 to 20MW turbine models, optimising jacket structures and creating ways to better predict wind speeds.

The outlook for offshore wind energy is of course looking very positive and as Waars points out: “We are always looking for new partnerships with companies as well as being able to collaborate.”


This article first appeared in the Offshore WIND Magazine.

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