What did I need to learn to do this job?
l loved French, maths and physics at school. When I went to university, I first studied electrical engineering and then I specialised in power system engineering. Next, I combined the two by studying electrical engineering for wind turbines.
As my job has changed, so have the skills I need. In the early years, I mostly needed my engineering skills. Then when I started managing projects, I had to be good at planning and organisation. As I have become a more senior manager, it has become more important to be good at dealing with different people and to be able to build strong teams and motivate them.
Lucy Craig, 56, The Netherlands
Senior Vice President of Growth & Innovation at DNV Energy Systems
A great teacher changed my life
Take notice of your teachers! Nobody in my family had ever been an engineer, but when I was choosing what to study in university, my physics teacher at school suggested I think about engineering. I am very grateful to her as she set me off on an amazing career path that has led me to where I am today.
I work for DNV, a company which provides technical advice to people building solar and wind farms or operating electricity grids. For example, if the owner of an electricity grid wants to know how much energy a wind farm will produce, how long it will last, where to put it, or how to adapt the electricity grid, we do the calculations to answer such questions. I am responsible for developing new ways to answer these questions more accurately and more quickly.
The most important project I am working on is called the “digital transformation”, which means finding ways to use computing to do things faster and better than humans. It is similar to how schools now use computers and digital whiteboards instead of big encyclopaedias and messy blackboards.
This kind of technological change has been really impressive in the wind industry over the past 30 years. Wind turbines today are more than 40 times more powerful than they were when I started working. It is exciting how wind energy has gone from being relatively unimportant to playing a big role in providing our electricity.
In the UK, many people used to dislike wind turbines. Now though, we have a lot of turbines out in the sea and we get more than 15% of our electricity from wind. In Spain, they get more than 20%. It is exciting to be part of such big changes.
One of the best aspects of my job is working with people from around the world. In the same day, I might speak to someone from India in the morning and to someone from California in the late afternoon – I love that diversity of culture!
People around the world care about climate change. They often feel they can’t do much about it, but there are lots of things we can all do to make a difference. For example, we can encourage our governments to act against climate change by making it clear we want them to reduce carbon emissions.
You can help make this happen by writing to your local politician to ask them to build more wind farms, to set up lots of charging stations to make it easy to use electric cars and to create safe and convenient bike lanes to make it easy to cycle.