Wind giants find talented engineers at summer school

Wind companies Siemens and Vestas both support the summer school in wind power held in collaboration with Aarhus University. The initiative is part of the strategy for attracting and securing young international talents, and keeping the Danish leadership in wind power.

2017.09.25 | Gitte Bindzus Foldager

Translation of Danish article on Jobfinder

For the past 11 years, the “Wind Power Summer School”, arranged by Aarhus University School of Engineering in close collaboration with the wind giants Vestas and Siemens has invited 50 engineering students from all over the world to Denmark to learn more about wind power, in the course of two weeks.

For the two companies, the purpose is partly to unfold the passion for wind energy, to expand the knowledge about the Danish companies in the industry and not least to hire the greatest talents afterwards.

Talents have the chance for an early start of their career

Representative of Siemens Per Hesselund Lauritsen, who has been part of the project from the beginning, explains:

"It's a ticket to impress us. To make ourselves more attractive while teaching the students about our products and businesses, which usually takes half an year for a new employee, " says Per Hesselund Lauritsen, who emphasizes that the course is an outstanding opportunity for young engineers. He adds:

"For us, it is also about securing Denmark’s position as the leading nation in wind power."

At Vestas, the summer school has a high priority, in order to contribute to relevant knowledge during the engineering education, but also to establish relationships with interesting young talents.

"We are trying to build a pipeline of future candidates. After last year, we received many inquiries from dedicated engineering students,” explains Nete Bechmann, HR in Vestas for the areas 'Power Solutions', 'Manufacturing & Sourcing'.

"To participate in the summer school brands our company and creates role models for the future engineers, which can be important when recruiting later. The students get an opportunity to learn how it is to work at Vestas," she explains.

Breathtaking course with high professionalism

Aarhus School of Engineering, which in 2008 entered in a collaboration with Aarhus University, has always been responsible for arranging the course. Initially, the idea was to start a collaboration with the two wind power giants and to attract international students to Denmark.

To be accepted into the course, the engineering students must study either mechanical engineering or engineering in electrical energy technology.

However, since foreign universities have a wide variety of programmes, it is possible to obtain exemption, as long as one has studied relevant subjects that prepare the student for the course syllabus.

During the two weeks, mechanical engineers are working with aerodynamics, cargo simulation, mechanical main components such as gearboxes and camps.

Engineers in the field of high-voltage power are involved in management of turbines, control technology and coupling of wind turbines to the electricity grid.

The students receive lectures from the university’s lecturers, meet experts from the industry's largest companies and take field trips to Energinet and Vestas' test center for wings.

Unique opportunity for networking for a future job

One of the many benefits of the course is the informal conversations you can have with specialists and professionals, emphasizes Nete Bechman

The HR manager at Vestas recommends taking advantage of an informal talk.

»Be outgoing and attentive. Be prepared with an up to date CV and think about what you would like to work with. Make it clear what you want to focus on. "

In addition to company contact, another important priority for the organizers is to give participants the opportunity to experience different cultures.

"The idea is to give Danish students an international experience and the other way around," says lecturer at Aarhus University School of Engineering and responsible for the course, Christina Munk.

Australian engineer: I'm coming back to Denmark

The mission succeeded during this year’s summer school. Among the participants was the Australian Sena DuBois. Back home in Brisbane, he is studying Electrical Engineering at Queensland University of Technology.

The Australian student, who enjoyed the high technical level and the students’ fellowship, praises the two weeks course.

As a starting point, the biggest drawn for the young engineer was the close collaboration with Danish companies such as Vestas and Siemens. The possibility lured, as the green sector in Australia is not yet fully fledged according to Sena DuBois.

"We were not treated as students but as engineers. I felt respected by our teachers and the companies’ specialists,” he emphasizes and states:

"In fact, I hope to come back to Denmark and work for either Siemens or Vestas."

Forward-looking, Sena DuBois is considering plunging into the optimization of wind turbine power generation. For example, focusing on adapting wind turbine operation according to the weather, which will be easier to predict with the development of data processing.

Danish underscores must be presented

Meanwhile, suppliers like LM Wind Power, KK Wind Solutions and Liftra are also enjoying benefits from the interest in Danish wind.

The Danish wind turbine industry has much more to offer than just Vestas and Siemens. There are more than 500 companies in the wind industry, which together create about 33,000 jobs. The benefit from bringing foreign engineers to Denmark therefore applies not only to the major manufacturers.

Vestas and Siemens also have an interest in driving skilled employees towards the undergrowth of subcontractors.

"As a manufacturer, we are very interested in the fact that our subcontractors get skilled employees. It strengthens the products from the Danish market. Therefore, we would like to attract more engineers who are enthusiastic about wind power, "explains Per Hessellund Lauritsen.

This year's Wind Power Summer School was held from August 13 to August 25 2017. It will be possible to sign up for next year's summer school from December 2017.

It costs 1,000 DKK to attend, which covers food, transport during field trips and other expenses.


More information on the Wind Power Summer School

Read about the 2017 Wind Power Summer School here

International Students