Jack joins the new generation of offshore technicians

Young engineer Jack Hurren is taking his skills offshore to inspect wind turbines thanks to the qualifications he earned at the Centre.

The 20-year-old from Blundeston near Lowestoft always had an ambition to work in the energy industry.

He got a distinction in a BTEC Level 3 Engineering qualification at Lowestoft College before a two-year Foundation Degree in Operations and Maintenance Engineering at the University of Suffolk, which focused on the renewables sector.

The degree course also saw him as mechanical engineer in a group project getting to understand how turbines convert wind into electricity, which saw them design and build a test a generator.

Soon, armed with his new qualifications, he will be working on the full-scale real thing.

Jack, a former Cliff Park High School student, also had a spell at a refrigeration company as a development technician as part of his degree in 2018.

Jack said: “I wanted a career in energy production and thought about oil and gas. But throughout my studies I have developed a huge passion for the wind industry. And at university I thoroughly enjoyed studying mechanical and electrical principles relating to real world engineering problems.

“When I applied for a technician job I was steered towards the Offshore Wind Skills Centre to gain the qualifications I needed to fulfil the role.

The course was brilliant. It was great fun and I am looking forward to my first offshore trip to inspect a turbine and put my skills to use.

It will be a big adventure and I am really excited about getting up close to turbines. I find their sheer size so exciting.”

During his four weeks of studies at the Centre Jack gained qualifications in: working at height, sea survival, first aid, basic technical training, fire awareness, manual handling, crane slinger banksman, working in confined spaces and underwent fitness tests.

The sessions were split between the Centre, and specialist training providers 3Sun and Petans.

Jack is a keen gym-goer in his leisure time and hopes his fitness will also stand him in good stead for the demands of scaling turbines in his new career. And he also enjoys maintaining his car – to put his engineering expertise to practical use in his spare time too.