- Course: Chemical and Process Engineering BEng
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Assistant Engineer
- Company: DNV GL
What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?
DNV GL is an engineering consultancy organized into five main business areas: Oil & Gas, Energy, Maritime, Software and Business Assurance. I work within the Energy business which delivers advisory, certification and testing services to the energy value chain with expertise spanning onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, smart grids and transmission and distribution.
What is your role within the company?
As an assistant engineer within the Asset Integrity & Performance team, I am undertaking technical analyses of onshore wind farms during the operational phase; this enables me to diagnose faults, assess performance and derive long-term energy production forecasts. I then write high quality reports to convey this information to the company’s clients to help them understand and optimize the performance of their wind farms. In addition, I contribute to the inspections team through performing end of warranty turbine blade inspections at customers’ sites.
Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?
I would usually begin the day by checking through my emails and preparing notes for any scheduled meetings. I look at the team’s Project Planner spreadsheet which indicates the deadlines for different projects; this allows me to prioritise and manage my workload in advance. Then I may get started on weekly performance monitoring reports for the wind farms to which I am assigned; this is quite a quick process and could take between half an hour to an hour depending on whether I identify any issues which require further investigation. I then push these reports out to the relevant clients. Furthermore, at the start of the month, I utilize the company’s online SCADA-based Condition Monitoring tool to assess the health of the drivetrains of turbines at 18 wind farms in total. This helps the clients minimise downtime and lost revenue by enabling them to make faster decisions on restoring components.
So far, what have you enjoyed the most, and did you get involved in any interesting projects?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is working on operational energy production assessments. This involves using a wind farm’s operational data to quantify losses due to under-performance, correcting production to reflect long-term expectations of turbine efficiency and availability and correlating energy production, using wind speed measurements, to understand long term resource expectations. This is a powerful service that DNV GL provides for customers looking to budget, refinance or commission wind energy projects.
Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?
I wanted to get a feel for the fast-paced nature of the work in a global engineering organisation. During the past couple of years at university, I felt that I had gained a variety of technical and transferable skills and so I wanted to hone those skills and apply them to goal-oriented projects that have a real impact.
What do you feel you will get out of this experience?
I think upon completion of the placement I will have an idea as to whether a career in renewable energy is something that I want to pursue after graduation. I also feel that the professional network I create throughout my time at DNV GL will support me with my career progression, regardless of which path I take and ultimately guide me towards becoming chartered; which this placement counts towards.
Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?
My advice to anyone thinking of undertaking a year in industry would be to:
Practice psychometric tests.
Get CV checked- employability provides good examples of a “placement CV”.
Look for placements on multiple platforms not just one- Gradcracker, Milkround, Indeed, weekly employability adverts.
Prepare applications as early as possible.