WESA Virtual Conference Week 2021

Monday 12 Apr 21

A successful Virtual Conference Week was hosted by the WESA Wind Energy Student Association during April 12-15, 2021 with more than 100 sign ups, attracting not only wind energy master students from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) but also private individuals from different part of the globe who share common interest in the future of wind energy industry.

Guest Company Speakers

There were seven competitive companies who have attended including Ørsted, Cowi, Rambøll, Mott Mcdonald, RWE, Wood Thilsted and SCADA International.

  • SCADA International

    Bo Lovmand was the first presenter to kick-off WESA’s Conference Week by introducing the company SCADA on Monday April 12th. Bo Lovmand is now the director of the R&D department and has worked with SCADA and Power Plant Control for both wind turbines and renewables since 2001. The company was founded in 2006 and has now more than 100 SCADA specialists and projects in 29 countries. 

    The presentation focused on explaining how the OneView® SCADA tool is a powerful solution for many of the major players in the wind industry. By purchasing it, any company is able to optimize and control their entire portfolio of wind farms no matter its size and turbine manufacturers. The tool offers an independent solution that integrates all renowned manufacturers like Vestas or Siemens GAMESA into its algorithm, so the third party acquiring the tool can further optimize their projects regardless of the turbine model that they are working with.

    Lovmand mentions how the OneView® SCADA tool is an efficient way to gain a general overview of wind farms, including power production, the site’s mean wind speed and wind direction, status of individual turbines, availability, as well as options to review the turbines’ controllers and technical specifications. With this top-view, owner operators can monitor and analyze all their wind farm sites and gather all information in one place where they can review it and make further analysis for optimization. Also mentioned was the fact that the SCADA tool can be used for any renewable portfolio, be it for wind, solar, hydropower, or hybrid systems.

    Another interesting topic that Lovmand touched upon was how wind farm operators could optimize their revenue when using the OneView® tool. By having control over various wind farm sites and their developments, operators have access to forecasts when it comes to power production and are able to change their operational setpoints to obtain a fixed output for the foreseeable future and fulfill wind requirements. Finally, he mentioned how this constant monitoring of wind farms can enable operators to stay on top of grid network limitations by knowing exactly how their system is working at all times and ensuring their capacity never exceeds the maximum grid capacity near the wind farm site.


  • Wood Thilsted

    On the first day of WESA’s Conference Week, Frederik Agergaard and Martin Nielsen presented on behalf of Wood Thilsted. Frederik has been part of Wood Thilsted since 2018 and is now the lead geotechnical engineer within the company. Martin is a technical director with a background in structural engineering from DTU and has been working at Wood Thilsted since 2019. They began their presentation by giving a general overview of the company, which has delivered the detail design of foundations for various wind related projects of 3 GW worldwide.

    With engaging visuals, Frederik and Martin showed how the world-leading engineering consultancy company handles massive offshore projects that go from exploration to operation in incredible detail. They also mentioned how their work environment stands out as a “one-team” ideology, and how all employees communicate with each other to deliver the client the best possible coherent and detailed response.

    Their presentation focused on each stage of their design plan, which includes exploration, maturation, engineering, construction, and operation. During the exploration phase, Frederik and Martin explained how the most important factor is obtaining an overview of the wind farm site and its geotechnical capabilities. In the maturation phase, they briefly mention how Wood Thilsted has “extensive experience when it comes to maturing offshore wind projects and how to effectively search and detect design liabilities and leverages”; all of this with the aim to optimize the foundation designs. They continued their presentation of the engineering, construction, and operation phases where they focused on type of foundations, corrosion protection, wave loading, inspection, and post-construction surveys.

    Lastly, Frederik and Martin presented Wood Thilsted’s software, which gathers data pertaining loads, foundations, site condition assessment, and turbine models that are fully automated and can later be used for design optimization purposes. In the end, they presented the attendees with the company’s current vacancies and encouraged any student with the right competencies and motivation to apply for their open positions.


  • COWI

    Erik Mohr and Michael Sienko of Cowi presented on Tuesday April 13th. The presentation started with an overview of the company, which has a history of about 90 years in engineering consultancy. With more than 7000 engineers worldwide and offices in India, Taiwan, US and across Europe, Cowi is the second largest consultancy firm in Denmark. 

    Mohr mentioned how within the renewables section, there is a department dedicated to projects in wind energy. Within the Cowi Energy division, there are other departments as well that look into other technologies, such as floating wind, storage solutions, hydrogen, transmission systems and substations. Cowi’s focus as a consultancy is to provide service to both ends of a project, through the contractors or owners and developers. The department is truly an international one, with over 18 nationalities, and with half the staff under 40 years of age, it makes then also a young department. Another important service that Cowi provides is in engaging in development, design, and project follow-up in areas of the world where wind energy is still underdeveloped. The help provided by Cowi helps governments and agencies. 

    The presentation then shifted to a more technical detail of offshore turbine foundations, which are one of Cowi’s strengths. Other tasks in which the company is involved are in grid evaluation and design through code compliance, feasibility evaluations, provide support as owner’s engineer, and doing analysis during the operation phase, such as power curve verification. Some of the projects Cowi is involved in are Vineyard Wind in USA, fine screening of Danish offshore wind farms, and studies for offshore wind development with the World Bank. 

    Finally, Mohr talked briefly about solar power solutions and how they are now being combined with storage capabilities. He then showcased videos from student assistants and talked about the opening of internships and student assistant positions after summer 2021. He recommended to make good use of internships and student positions as recent graduates, which can make it easy to get a long term contract. 


  • Ramboll

    On the second slot of the day during the WESA Conference Week on Tuesday April 13th, Anders Blichfeldt Markvorsen from Ramboll presented about the company. Anders is an offshore wind foundations consultant, graduated from DTU with a master’s in mechanical engineering. He began by giving an overview of the company. Ramboll is Denmark’s largest consultancy and has 16000 employees worldwide with global presence. The company is also truly international, with a total of 250 new hires from 48 nationalities in 2019 alone. The consultancy focuses on the following markets: buildings, transport, planning, water, environment, energy, towers and telecom, management consulting. Within the energy division, the wind energy department is situated, along oil and gas and energy from waste. 

    Anders then continued with a more detailed explanation of Ramboll wind and how they 30 years of expertise have positioned them as leaders within wind consultancy. The department has more than 300 experts, that contribute to the company’s tasks in project development, asset management, and foundations. Offshore foundations are a big business for Ramboll, with around 50% of offshore wind structures designed by the company.  With this said, Anders continued with a much more technical talk on foundation types designed by Ramboll and their strengths and weaknesses. He also gave a brief list of considerations on design of monopiles, and how interdisciplinary of an undertaking it is, as much of the projects the company is involved in. 

    Finally, Anders spoke about Ramboll as a workplace. He mentioned that employees generally have flex-hours, meaning they can use their office time more effectively and plan other personal commitments with ease. Ramboll employees are also keen in joining others with similar interests, as showcased by the many clubs and organizations that employees form a part of, such as the fitness club. Anders encouraged students to check jobs posted on Ramboll’s webpage and to always contact the hiring manager listed in the position. Ramboll has a big spread of offices so the job can take anywhere in the world. His parting words are an invitation to all those interested: “Reach out if you have a good idea and wish to pursue anything at Ramboll.”


  • Mott Macdonald

    In the third day of the event, in the first slot comes Javier Relancio, a business development director (Europe, Africa and Latin America) who has been working in renewable energy sector for more than 13 years, and Juan Sebastian Pena Fandino, a renewable energy engineer and DTU Wind Energy master alumni, representing Mott Macdonald, a global engineering, management and development consultancy company which works with various of sectors from water management to environmental assessment considering themselves as multisectoral company. It has a 1.6 billion Eur of turnover and has over 17, 000 staff around the globe making them a multicultural company with a great global presence.

    But in this presentation, Mott Macdonald has brought topics about their work and case studies and how Mott Macdonald plays it role in wind energy industry. They have currently managing >100 GW of wind power and >25 GW of solar energy located around the globe including North and Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

    They have tackled different steps of wind project which includes: 1.) Inception phase where energy yield assessment, feasibility study, site characterization and grid connection, 2.) Development phase where a preliminary design has been given with electrical and civil layout is proposed considering risk and development program, 3.) Pre-construction phase where project has now been developed specifying equipment needed, tender evaluation and contract negotiation and 4.) Construction where stakeholders and management interact regarding design review, site construction, inspections and supervision. Later on, different case studies and flagship projects are touched into presentation, regarding projects like NorthH2 Project at North Sea for Europe’s green hydrogen commitment, development of renewables in South Africa, Sweden, Kenya and other countries! At the end, Mott Macdonald’s team is continuously growing which means more engineers are going to be needed in their multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.


  • RWE

    A leading global renewable player, RWE, has also presented in the third day 2nd slot, represented by Sebastian Sanchez Perez-Moreno, a Technical Analyst Offshore Wind Energy, and Kristian Høy-Thomsen, a Senior Development PM in Denmark. RWE is a leading supplier of renewables worldwide. With wind farms, solar power and battery storage facilities in many countries, making green energy as their core business.

    RWE’s business has been operating at different renewable sectors such as onshore and offshore wind farms, photovoltaics and storage technologies where 3,500 employees working from different 15 countries around Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific with 9.4 GW of renewables capacity (25% of offshore wind, 73% of onshore and 2% of solar and storage) and with a prospective growth target of 1.5 GW by 2022.

    It has been also discussed the commercialization capabilities of RWE in order to access globally leading trading powerhouse through product customization, energy supply concepts, energy management solutions and complex risk management. RWE’s upcoming and current projects has been also touched in the presentation around Germany, Denmark, Japan, United States and other countries.

    An exciting market is the creation of floating wind farms, where RWE has extensively working on to be the leader in floating wind farm market with an aim of 1 GW floating capacity by 2030, with projects in Spain, Norway and US. RWE has invested five billion euros net in renewables by 2022 and has continuously contributed for climate neutrality goal by 2040. With this perspective and renewable expansion, there will be a huge need of around 500 competitive renewable engineers around the globe.


  • Ørsted

In the last day of WESA Virtual Conference Week, we have Ørsted joining the presentation, represented by David Bould, the Lead R&D Specialist. Ørsted has been the world’s leader in offshore wind, supplying green power for more than 15 million people, and an ambition to increase this figure to 30 million by 2025. But their work also spans to onshore wind power, solar PV and energy storage with a goal of increasing this by 5 GW by 2025.


These goals will play a major role on CO2 reduction, as the company’s target is to reduce carbon emissions by 98% on 2025. By expanding in renewable energy, Ørsted has now prospected to supply green power to 55 million people by 2030.


During the presentation, it has been discussed that larger scaling of wind turbines and continuous innovation has driven down the cost of the offshore wind, making it more competitive in the market. Ørsted’s R&D strategy is driven by five key themes to achieve mentioned goals by 2030, including: 1.) Global markets with local impact: It have been mentioned that offshore wind will be a truly global competitive market and will continue to grow. But floating offshore wind farm will be also a realistic option for countries where bottom-fixed is not feasible. 2.) Integrated energy solutions: Energy storage solutions including bulk storage and Power-to-X will become fully integrated into new offshore wind farms. 3.) Sustainability and life-cycle environmental impacts: Requirements for low environmental impact and responsibilities on decommissioning and recycling. 4.) Scale, volume and learning: Offshore turbines will continue to be larger and more efficient, driving down the cost. 5.) Cheapest options.


There are six divisions that contributes to Ørsted’s objective to enable future wind farms with cutting-edge technologies and improving health and environment performance, and this includes 1.) wind and waves, 2.) foundations, geoscience and marine, 3.) electrical infrastructure, 4.) turbine O&M, 5.) logistics, and 6.) environment. Finally, it was mentioned that students are very welcome to engage with Ørsted as their company’s goal will require more competitive and inspired students with passion on green energy, with thesis opportunities, student jobs and graduate programmes.



Panel Discussion

The WESA Virtual Conference Week has ended with panel discussion with five speakers joining  from  Ørsted, Cowi, Rambøll, Mott Mcdonald, and Wood Thilsted.


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