Katrine Black - Renewable Energy Consultant at Wood

Issued: Wed, 17 Jun 2020 00:00:00 BST

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I have cycled from Lands End to John o'Groats.

Tell us about your careers journey so far

At 16 I started an apprenticeship with an oil and gas consultancy as a draughts(wo)man. It was a very interesting, early education into office life and the energy industry. I stayed there for nine years and studied Mechanical engineering part time, progressing from NC to BEng level. I eventually left to do an MSc in Civil Engineering which involved a work placement. I set out to get some renewables experience and did my placement with a small scale wind and solar installation company. That experience really helped in setting me up for my current role at Wood, where I've now been for two years.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Graphic Communication - I think I enjoyed the structured form of drawing. It was visual but everything was precise and could be calculated. It was also my first experience of CAD which I loved and ended up being my career for 9 years!

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

My current role definitely benefits from maths and English. Physics would help you out too.
However, in saying that, I left school with four highers (maths, English, graphic communication and history). The apprenticeship route with part time college/uni is a really great way for those not sure what they want to do yet and need more time. I also think learning on the job is a really good way to improve your skill set.

What is a normal day in your role like?

A normal day is office based (from home for now), but a few times a year I get to go on site visits to wind farms all over. Members of my team have recently been to countries such as Australia, Jordan, Pakistan and Sweden!
In my role, we work for those who are either developing, investing, selling or buying onshore and offshore wind farms. We perform technical due diligence on wind farm projects, which is a way of reviewing the whole project and all the technical elements of it before someone commits a lot of their money to it. We write a lot of reports!

What's your favourite thing about your job?

Working in emerging markets is exciting, witnessing countries that have few renewable energy projects committing to developing it now. The travel can be fun too! Being in a relatively 'new' industry is cool. Wind turbine technology is developing and improving so quickly and it's exciting to see and be involved in these projects.

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
Please share links to relevant resources.

There are a number of activities aimed at understand wind power and the industry within the STEM resources and other places that can probably be done from home such as:

https://www.stem.org.uk/resources/elibrary/resource/26486/wind-power
https://www.stem.org.uk/resources/elibrary/resource/33064/wind-turbine-role-play
https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/article/wind-energy-science/
https://4-h.org/about/4-h-at-home/wind-energy-experiment/