Written by Dalia Badawy and Shaza Hany
Edited by Malak Manie
The Energy Engineering Kickoff
As an undergraduate, you may stumble upon many development opportunities that can boost your career as an engineer. Which ones should you go for? Should you apply for just any opportunity? Remember the famous phrase “Quality Over Quantity”? Well, we use it a lot, but what if you don’t know which field you want yet? Shouldn’t you give it a try?
Surprisingly, the focus on quantity is quite important, especially at the start of your career. Going for various opportunities will help you discover your field of interest sooner. However, the focus on quality usually follows when you indicate which path you want to pursue. At this point, focusing on the skills and opportunities you need is crucial for your career.
In this article, we will be tackling most of the skills needed to become an effective energy and renewable energy engineer.
The job market can be divided into five main areas:
- Multinational companies
- Egyptian companies
- Governmental organizations
- The academic field
For multinational and Egyptian companies, you can work as a sales engineer, a tendering engineer or as a research and development (R&D) engineer, some companies also specialize in the field of consultancy.
Governmental organizations may have vacancies in both the renewable energy field and the electrical engineering field, in addition to the mechanical engineering field as well. You can work as a technical engineer in a power plant or perhaps as a design engineer.
As for start-ups, usually you can work as a sales or technical engineer (design or maintenance). For instance, many start-ups specialize in the solar energy field.
If you still do not find yourself interested in all of the above, don’t worry! You can work as a research assistant or a teaching assistant and pursue your master’s degree at numerous universities around the world!
To sum up, graduating from the Energy and Renewable Energy department can qualify you to work in:
- Renewable Energy
- Industrial Automation & Building Management Systems
- Electric Vehicles Industry
These are all examples of what we can do after graduation, this does not mean that this is all that there is. Shifting between fields of engineering is always applicable and can be attained by learning the right skills.
Here we present an exemplary list of the needed skills in some of the fields we mentioned earlier.
- Microsoft office
- DIALux & DIALux evo
Distribution internships & courses:
- UTW Program
- TEA SERV
- HMI & SCADA
- Classic Control
Useful solar design software to consider:
- Homer Pro – Homer Energy, USA
- PV F-Chart – F-Chart software, USA
- PVPLANNER – SOLARGIS, Slovakia
- PVsyst – PVsyst SA, Switzerland
- RETscreen – Natural Resources Canada, Canada
- System Advisor Model (SAM) – National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), USA
- Solar Pro – Laplace Systems, Japan
- Blu Sol
- Solar PV plant design software – SolarFarmer
With the contribution of one of our most experienced doctors in the wind field, Dr. Ashraf Mostafa, we present the most needed skills to qualify you for the wind sector:
- Good experience in design turbine blade using any CAD (SOLIDWORKS, Inventor, AutoCAD, DesignModeler, BladeGen…)
- Good experience in Numerical Modeling of wind turbine using any solver (ANSYS FLUENT, COMSOL, OPENFOAM, FINNFLOW, CFX, Q BLADE)
- Good practical and experimental skills in measuring different variables (wind speed, wind direction, output power, rotational speed) of wind turbine in field and wind tunnel testing using different instruments
- Experience in analysis of wind data, sitting, data acquisition
- Experience in selecting best airfoil for blade design
- Expecting performance of turbine under all operating conditions using ANSYS FLUENT or Q BLADE or Experiments
- Matching between turbine and electric generator
- Maintenance of different parts of turbine
- Control the turbine output (voltage, regulation, inverters, synchronization, connecting to Grid)
- Operation: start up, normal, shut down
- Monitoring the turbine inside control room of wind farms
- Handling technical and financial offers
Other software to consider:
- Bladed – wind turbine design software
- Resource Panorama – wind data and solar data – energy resource monitoring
- SESAM for offshore wind – offshore wind turbine foundation analysis
- WindFarmer: Analyst – wind Resource Assessment software
- TidalBladed – industry-standard tidal turbine software modelling tool
- ETAP- wind turbine generator analysis
Also, it is of utmost importance to mention that an engineer’s soft skills can have a major effect in distinguishing them in the workplace. Your soft skills define your relationship with stakeholders, managers and colleagues. They play an important role in your recruitment and promotion decisions as certain job titles, such as sales engineer, require strong soft skills. Luckily, our faculty society offer a great variety of student activities that can boost both your technical and soft skills.
Besides, being bilingual or even multilingual can help you conquer other territories and easily pursue a master’s degree in any of the developed countries.
These skills are developed to guide you in starting your career mission and put you on track to help you find what you need. Accordingly, we advise you to check the references for more detailed information and we strongly encourage you to pursue internships and training opportunities to provide you with real experience.