Simon Reynolds

 Simon giving a talk at the NETP Awards Evening 2012
After completing my studies at Northampton I was employed full time as a design engineer by the company where I undertook my third placement with the NETP, Wykes Engineering. I carried on working there for another year or so, building on the skills I had gained during my work placements and continuing to develop as a professional engineer.
My reason for choosing to study engineering was mainly motivated by my desire to work with renewable energy generation technologies, which had been an ambition of mine for many years. Therefore, after careful consideration I decided to leave my position at Wykes to continue with my studies by enrolling on an MSc course in renewable energy at Newcastle University.
After this, I was fortunate enough to gain employment in the renewable energy sector, working within the solar industry. This proved to be an exciting, if at times slightly volatile sector to work in due to the extensive government cuts to subsidies for the sector. I learned a range of new skills within this field whilst continuing to make use of the existing ones I had gained from my time at Wykes.
I had developed a particular interest in marine renewables whilst working on the testing of a blade section for a tidal turbine for my MSc dissertation and was keen to find a way to break into the offshore renewables sector. With this in mind, I had been keeping an eye out for opportunities when I came across the Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) at Edinburgh University. I applied for and have been accepted on to the EngD course with a scholarship that covers my fees and also provides a stipend. After a year’s study I will be placed with a company working in the field and will complete a thesis on a related topic whilst working as a research engineer with the placement company.
I feel that the time I spent on placement with the NETP whilst at University has helped me to progress within my career due to the specific skills I gained, as well as by increasing my confidence through experiencing varied working environments in a range of different companies.