World’s First Offshore Wind University Program Begins
Enlarge image A high demand for qualified personnel in the near future, was the impetus for this program of study. (© picture alliance / dpa) Thomas Andernach left university a long time ago, but he still finds himself going back with a certain frequency these days uncommon to graduates well past their 20s. In fact, the 49-year-old is responsible for the German division in renewable energies at a large Swiss insurance company – and he is one of 24 participants in the world’s first offshore wind studies program at the universities of Oldenburg and Bremerhaven. The program begins October 12.
Andernach has experience in the field, and even took a course in onshore wind energy, but, as he says, offshore energy offers up a whole new set of opportunities. Previous efforts at harnessing wind energy will be seen as rather small steps compared to what is about to happen out at sea, Andernach adds. Of course, there is also a “strategic factor” by participating in the first-ever offshore studies program, he admits.
The list of participants does not only include business people or insurance people, but also academics, lawyers and engineers. There are also some rather random participants as well. “It’s a colorful mix,” Juliane Reichel, the project coordinator for For Wind, a research center on wind energy, says. Hans-Peter Waldl, a lecturer and member of the council that put the program’s curriculum together, says that “decision-makers are not the only people there, but practitioners are also there. It’s just as much about skill-sharing as it is about knowledge.”
The industry is expected to have a high demand for qualified personnel in the near future, to the tune of about 30,000 new jobs, which is why the study program was created. In order to ensure that businesses are able to take quick advantage of graduates, entry requirements to the program are relatively high, including a previous degree as well as work experience in the wind energy sector, offshore energy sector or maritime management. Good knowledge of English is also a requirement – and not only because English tends to be the sector’s working language – but also because it is the program’s language of instruction.
More information on the program can be found on the program’s website.
Offshore Wind Studies