What did I need to learn to do this job?
Science, especially chemistry and physics, and maths were my favourite subjects at school. I went to an engineering school in Belgium, which meant a lot of maths, physics and chemistry.
It took me five years to get my degree, then I spent five more years studying to become a doctor in science (not a medical doctor).
Science is necessary for my job as I need to understand how wind energy works. However, soft skills are equally important. These include mastering digital technologies, oral communication, writing and working in teams.
If you think you might want to work in the field of renewable energy, I would advise you to study the basics of the technologies (you can already start now), identify the best institutions giving classes in the subjects you like, and always be curious about learning new things.
The future will be a mix of technologies and digital. Be prepared!
Nicolas Quiev, 38, Belgium
Wind Onshore Technology Manager at ENGIE
Drones and dreams
Your job should never be boring! I make sure I have as much fun as possible and keep learning new things.
My job involves three tasks. First, I help develop wind energy projects all over the world, making sure the amount of wind is correctly estimated and the right wind turbine type is used for every site. This allows us to plan energy production for the next 25-30 years!
Secondly, I help my colleagues when there are problems with any of the wind turbines, such as when a blade is hit by lightning and damaged. Thirdly, I find ways to make the wind turbines reliably produce as much energy as possible. For example, using drones to check the blades and verify that there are no cracks or other damage to them. What I like most is meeting people from all over the world who are passionate about wind technology. I like sharing experiences as this sometimes leads to new projects. If we all work together, we have a better chance of installing enough renewable energy to stop climate change spiralling out of control.
I started to work on wind energy when I left university nine years ago and joined my current company. I began looking at the blades and how to inspect them with cameras and drones. It was so exciting that I decided to do this full-time. Wind energy is in constant evolution – the size of wind turbines has more than doubled in a decade! All this change is quite challenging and I like it!
As a child, I wanted to become an astronaut. I am fascinated by the universe, the solar system and the potential discovery of new worlds. I still dream when I look at the night sky. It is also urgent to take climate action and renewable energy technologies are part of this. I am happy to contribute to this cause.
It is worth following your dreams as much as you can. Your horizons widen so much when you become an adult and trying to follow your dreams can help you not to get lost. Not all dreams come true (I didn’t become an astronaut), but I am happy with what I have achieved and I’m still interested in outer space.