We caught up with FdEng Renewable Energy Engineering student Sam Bullock from Wallsend to learn more about his journey as a degree student in Newcastle and what he loves most about his course.
What do you love most about your degree?
I love that this course is very industry-focused and isn’t solely driven by an educational syllabus. The University Centre has good employer links and all the lecturers are extremely industry aware. There is a definite focus on professional progression; not just throughout each course but also into and throughout industry.
What inspires you to succeed?
The renewable energy industry is a rapidly expanding and lucrative sector and achieving healthy financial stability is a big inspiration of mine. I have always been a very future driven individual and have aspired to work offshore in an exciting and challenging environment.
Who has been the biggest support to you on your degree?
My current programme leader Lee Anderson has been the biggest support to me during my degree. He has played a very student facing role by providing one to one tuition/help, always actively and quickly responds to messages/emails and has allowed me to get the most out of my degree by offering numerous opportunities which you wouldn’t get in other universities with a much larger cohort of students.
What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?
The advice I would give to my 17-year-old self would be to gain as much hands-on maintenance experience and create as many professional relationships as possible within the renewable energy sector because it is an incredibly competitive industry and these are the main attributes that will make individuals stand out to employers.
What are your ambitions and how is this course helping you get there?
My ambition is to work as an offshore wind turbine technician and progress to a management role. This course is helping me get there by teaching me both industry-specific knowledge and skills as well as personal skills such as interview techniques and identifying weaknesses. This will allow me and other students to be highly employable individuals by the end of this degree.
What is a typical day in the life of an Energy Academy student?
A typical day in the life of an Energy Academy student is quite relaxed. Students attend classroom-based lectures which due to the small cohort allow for one-to-one help when necessary. There is also a large and well-equipped workshop where students learn and practice maintenance skills on industry-standard equipment such as small-scale wind turbines as well as learning to weld and fabricate metal structures. The college is located close to numerous takeaways and shops as well as Wallsend metro station for ease of access.
What’s your favourite thing about studying in Newcastle?
My favourite thing about studying in Newcastle is that the area is a hub for the renewable energy industry. There is the Doggerbank Wind Farm project planned to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the ‘Gigafactory’ being built in Blyth and SMD’s industry-leading subsea robotics. There will be plenty of renewable-based job opportunities opening up within the near future therefore Newcastle is an excellent city to study in.