Aura CDT hosts net-zero skills expert

24 January 2024

The Aura Centre for Doctoral Training was delighted to welcome RenewableUK’s Head of Skills for Renewables, Scott Young, during his recent visit to the Humber Region’s Energy Estuary.

Scott is strategic lead on skills and employment at RenewableUK and is responsible for designing and delivering the Offshore Wind Industry Council’s skills strategy in partnership with industry, to help meet the UK’s ambitious targets of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Aura CDT Director, Professor Rob Dorrell and Deputy Director, Professor Jim Gilbert met with Scott to discuss the work of the centre in developing future leaders for the offshore wind sector.

Aura CDT Deputy Director, Prof Jim Gilbert and PhD Researcher Oliver Morgan-Clague


Scott was also able to spend time with three of our Aura CDT postgraduate researchers, Maisy Bradbury, Jordan Burgess and Oliver Morgan Clague who talked through their research projects and their experience of the centre’s professional development programme.

Scott said:

The undoubted highlight was meeting University of Hull PhD students and their fantastic research supporting the sector, from improvements in the turbine blade manufacturing process to the effects of scour on monopiles and examining vibration impacts on invertebrates. The future industry is in good hands judging by the calibre of such bright minds coming through our education system!”


Maisy and Jordan in the Cohen lab by the experimental flume

Aura CDT PhD Researchers Jordan Burgess and Maisy Bradbury

Scott spent three days in our region, visiting organisations on both sides of the Humber, including Ørsted’s Grimsby hub and Catch UK’s training facilities and apprentice support programmes. He heard from Lucy Gray and Fiona Headridge about the Hull & East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HEY LEP) work with employers to engage young people in the offshore wind sector. Scott also met with Humber Offshore Wind Cluster, taking part in an Employer Workshop led by Lauren Little (Ørsted) and Hugh Callaway (MODAL Training Centre).

Scott also offered support to HEY LEP and the University of Hull’s national pilot scheme, examining the various different ways children can access work experience. As befits the home of the Energy Estuary, the Humber region has been asked to focus on careers in the clean energy and decarbonisation sectors. The HEY LEP, along with Aura Director, Louise Smith have been engaging various energy businesses in this pilot, including Ørsted, Catch, SSE and Meld.

A key focus of the Aura CDT is to build a diverse talent pipeline of future industry, policy and academic leaders to address the urgent need for workforce growth in the offshore wind sector. Each student undertakes an initial year of training to ground our them in the engineering and technological solutions that enable a resilient energy supply, the challenging and sensitive environments in which offshore wind energy operates as well as wider social and economic impacts. The Aura CDT supports 68 students across five cohorts, with the first students from Cohort 1 now completing their research and taking their next career steps.

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