Newcastle University and RWE’s Sofia Offshore Wind Farm have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at growing a skilled offshore wind workforce, supporting the expansion of the sector and driving innovation.
The under-construction 1.4GW Sofia is located on a 593 square kilometre site on Dogger Bank in the North Sea.
With a landfall in Teesside, between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea, an offshore construction facility at the Port of Blyth, and an operations and maintenance base in Grimsby, a local skilled workforce will be vital throughout its lifecycle said Sofia.
The MOU, formally signed at Newcastle University’s Marine Station at Port of Blyth (10 August 2023), will build on the partners’ successful existing collaboration which has included student dissertations, grid-related workshops, support of STEM careers awareness events and subject-specific guest lectures and seminars at the university.
“We are pleased to formalise our collaboration with Newcastle University and look forward to continuing to work together on a wide range of student-focussed initiatives that will provide experience and insights into the expanding offshore wind sector and its many career paths,” said Sofia senior consents manager Kim Gauld-Clark (above left).
The agreement will see the pair partner across a number of areas, including widening awareness of offshore wind and net zero careers to boost the diversity of the offshore wind workforce and increasing the visibility of offshore wind as a career.
The two organisations will use this strategic learning partnership to support activities across multiple academic schools within the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering and beyond to benefit students on multiple programmes of study.
In addition to student interactions, the parties will explore research, innovation and enterprise activities.
“This partnership reflects our commitment to bridging academia and industry for mutual benefit,” said pro vice chancellor Newcastle University’s Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering Stephanie Glendinning (above right).
“The collaboration with Sofia Offshore Wind Farm will go a long way towards helping us to equip our students with essential skills, promoting sustainable careers, and contributing to the region’s economic prosperity.
“The collaboration highlights our commitment to be a leader in the development of clean and affordable energy to all.”