As a graduate engineer working on the world’s largest offshore wind farm Grant Beaton is not only developing his professional expertise, but he’s also feeding his desire to play a critical role in the global energy transition.
The 24-year-old University of Strathclyde graduate shares an insight into his role on Dogger Bank Wind Farm, offers advice to industry hopefuls and talks about why a trainee engineer should never stop asking questions.
“After leaving school I went to study a Masters in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Doing a joint degree was challenging but definitely worthwhile, and I’m keen to develop my knowledge of both fields as I progress in my role on Dogger Bank Wind Farm as a graduate engineer.
“The renewable energy industry is constantly growing and is a sector that will continue to innovate as we meet the demands of the net zero journey, so I was thrilled to be able to join the Dogger Bank team in September 2020.
“I’ve always had a keen interest in the pursuit of solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems, and that’s pretty much what drove my desire to become an engineer. Even from the start of my studies until now there has been a real shift in the momentum of people wanting their energy to be produced in a more sustainable way, and it’s exciting to be part of that change.
“It’s been incredible to be working on a project the size of Dogger Bank and to be able to say you’ve contributed to it, but I can’t deny it’s also been a real learning curve. The hard work and ingenuity that goes on across the team on a daily basis is inspiring. As a young professional just starting out on a career path it’s been invaluable to understand the challenges and strengths required to make a project like this a success. That’s something that will stick with me for the rest of my career and will undoubtedly shape the engineer I’ll become.
“My long-term goals are to help the industry to achieve the net zero vision. On a short-term personal level I’m pretty open-minded about where my career will take me and what I’d like to do after finishing the graduate scheme. Throughout the two years I want to gain as much experience as possible, in as many business areas and teams as I can, and I’m obviously spoilt for choice when it comes to working on the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
“I’ve got a brilliant opportunity to work in roles I’ve had little or no knowledge about previously and I feel that will only be beneficial to my future career. I want to understand as much as possible about how the different teams and departments work together to bring projects like Dogger Bank through to completion.
“I have no regrets about the career choices I’ve made and would advise green-energy hopefuls to be open-minded about where they might fit into the renewable industry. Even if there is something you’re currently really passionate about, I’ve learnt that giving the time to different areas is beneficial to increase your knowledge, experience and overall confidence. I also think the best thing a young engineer can do is to keep asking questions, no matter how simple or complex they may be. Asking a question and getting an explanation that finally makes something click can take all of 2 minutes, but will make all the difference to the contribution you can make to a project like Dogger Bank.
“It’s hard to go half a day these days without hearing another story illustrating the severity of the climate crisis we find ourselves in. With the capacity to provide renewable energy for 6 million UK homes, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is demonstrating what can be achieved when you build on this scale using some of the world’s best available technology.
“I’ve got a real opportunity to contribute to this world-leading project and shape the future of green energy. I can’t think of another graduate opportunity that holds more promise for a young engineer.”
Grant Beaton, Graduate Engineer, Dogger Bank Wind Farm