Here at Wood Thilsted, we’re passionate about our people and we’re determined to recruit some of the brightest young minds to work with us as we design the global energy transition.

We caught up with WT’s Denmark-based Loads Engineer, Stefan Emil Steffensen, to find out about his recent efforts to attract some of the strongest talent from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

You recently hosted a number of guest lectures for a selection of masters courses at DTU, why is this beneficial for WT?

It is important for us to raise awareness of WT, our work designing the global energy transition and to give a stronger, technical insight of how academic studies are applied to real life situations. We do such innovative work at WT and there is a natural synergy with the academic world.

It is also vital to focus efforts where it matters. At the end of the day, these students are the future of offshore wind, so to engage with them directly from an early stage is mutually beneficial. Not only is it significant in strengthening the students’ knowledge but also enhances WT’s opportunities to recruit ambitious graduates who are steeped in technical excellence.

And what are the benefits for the students?

The students receive an in-depth, technical insight into specific areas and real-life scenarios of the offshore wind industry that they otherwise would not get from their course alone.

Our guest lectures provide much greater detail and examples of how what they’re currently learning is being applied by WT throughout the industry and across the globe. It also provides an invaluable opportunity to learn how challenges are overcome, vital milestones in the decision-making process, and how this, along with technically optimisations can influence the project lifetime.

How does this work with universities impact WT’s graduate recruitment process?

Students reviewing their options for masters theses topics. The Wood Thilsted team provide recommended masters thesis topics and an opportunity for a Q&A session to support students in the decision making process for a topic, including working with us. This also provides an opportunity to showcase what life at WT is really like, the strength of the people, processes and overall culture. It is important for us to highlight that working at WT is full of opportunities and provides real ‘hands-on’ situations to apply recent academic engineering knowledge to live projects.

We thoroughly enjoy our outreach work at universities as it’s an invaluable opportunity to help support and shape young minds in the industry. It enables us to start the narrative for future opportunities should they be interested in joining WT to conduct their thesis. This in turn supports Wood Thilsted in innovative in key offshore wind areas and strengthens our overall offering for our clients.

What is the most interesting questions you’ve been asked by students?

A common theme appears to be questions about floating offshore wind and the future of offshore wind. The added complexity of the floating market is something they find very interesting and it is also something very new to the market that is not yet properly established like bottom-fixed. Here at WT, we’re really pushing the limits of bottom fixed and pushing limits of how deep we can go with the monopiles. Consequently there is then less of a need for floating than previously thought.

All in all, one of the really interesting and stimulating aspects of the guest lectures is that the questions asked are highly technical, and the students are not afraid of digging into the technical detail. We also tailor all our presentations specifically for each individual course, therefore students stay engaged and really interested throughout.

That’s really great Stefan, are there any other key takeaways worth mentioning?

Our recent experiences working with universities correlate strongly with the strength in candidate applications for our graduate roles. Many of our strongest graduate candidates have been introduced to Wood Thilsted either by attending the WT-hosted guest lectures or by others who have attended and then recommended.

As WT, we are the go-to partner for DTU’s wind energy courses and we are often contacted directly for opportunities for guest lectures. Our aim is now to achieve something similar at other universities in different locations. We’d like to strengthen our connections and relationships with Southampton, Oxford & Edinburgh Universities, to reflect the work we’re doing in Denmark .

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