[09 September 2019]

Aura partner with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to offer offshore wind apprenticeships

Aura has joined with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) to offer an MSc Masters Degree Apprenticeship in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering through the University of Hull’s Department of Engineering.

Successful completion of this groundbreaking three-year, six module course – the first of its kind in the UK – is designed to equip the graduates with the educational requirements for registration as Chartered Engineers with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers or Institution of Engineering and Technology. Equally important, as part of the Aura initiative to advance offshore wind energy innovation, the course aims to develop the next generation of technical and industry leaders to keep Britain at the forefront of the offshore wind industry.

Formally commencing in September 2019, the initial group of 10 students will get practical experience through placements at three different SGRE locations in the UK.

The students will balance rigorous academic achievement with real-world application and will develop specialist knowledge of offshore wind energy engineering technologies, methods, practices and strategy.

Fundamental to their studies is enhancing a sound understanding of engineering principles, issues, theories and implications, and gaining knowledge of relevant environmental and health and safety topics. Working in industry will see them develop a good understanding of business practices, organisational behaviour, and management skills.

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Hull, said:

“At the University of Hull, we are committed to making sure we continue to meet the needs of our students, research and business partners and communities – and this degree apprenticeship in partnership with Siemens Gamesa is a great example of this. We are delighted to be working with one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy, working with them to attract the brightest minds who will be at the forefront of creating green energy for future generations and shaping the world we live in by facing the current environmental challenges head-on. We look forward to supporting industry by helping to deliver a strong talent pipeline of dedicated, diverse and skilled workers from engineers, technicians, scientists and more.

“The University welcomes other opportunities to work with industry to create degree apprenticeships with other organisations within offshore wind and renewables or in other sectors.”

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education),University of Hull

To be successful as the next generation of industry leaders, as well as successful on the MSc course, the students will need to understand the impacts of engineering on people and the environment, including possible unintended consequences of a technology.

The industrial placements in Frimley, Hull and Newcastle offer graduates experience of all aspects of the sector, from Sales to Construction, Project Management to Environment, Health and Safety.

Many of the students will get to spend one of their placements in Hull itself – the UK’s ‘Energy Estuary’. The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy recently recognised Hull as an exemplar region for growth and regeneration, by way of the clean energy generation sector that has grown around the area.

SGRE programme leader and Head of Engineering Rab McMillan says, “Over the past year SGRE has worked with Aura and the University of Hull to bring about our first Offshore Engineering Graduate Scheme awarding an MSc, in the UK. The motivation behind this is to bring a diverse group of people with demonstrable learning into a 3 year academic programme. This will take them to Masters’ level academically and potentially Chartered status, through a Monitored Professional Development Scheme.  There were 700 applicants from very diverse backgrounds. The successful graduates reflect the open culture at SGRE. The intake and scheme has motivated the managers involved in selection to offer mentorship and guidance in professional development. We are also delighted that the scheme has had the added benefit of promoting Continuous Professional Development within the current workforce.”

Undergraduate Eishar Bassan said: “Siemens Gamesa have provided me with the wonderful opportunity to join their Engineering Graduate Scheme. This is a rare opportunity for graduates to develop skills and achieve a Postgraduate degree, alongside the rotational work placements in the different cities situated in the UK. I am extremely excited to begin my time with Siemens Gamesa.”

Haamid Adam, one of the initial intake said: “Directly working on cross functional projects whilst studying for an MSc in offshore wind is exactly where I want to be; fighting climate change and creating a circular, sustainable energy economy. And this should be the same for any ambitious young graduate who has their eye on the future of wind energy and wants a successful career within it.”

Praise for the course also comes from undergraduate Charles Wilson.

He said: “Siemens Gamesa have set a precedent in their collaboration with the University of Hull. I am greatly looking forward to furthering my career in the wind industry alongside SGRE with the help of the exceptionally relevant information and projects provided by the University. I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to continue my studies while also working with SGRE.”

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