U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced that £6.5 million will be put into engineering education in the hopes of ushering in a generation of competent renewable energy workers. As a result, several universities will be offering doctorate programs for up to 50 engineering students in the area of offshore wind energy. The new program is to be called the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE), which reflects the country’s goal of expanding its offshore wind industry.
According to the The Herald newspaper in Scotland, courses held at the University of Edinburgh and at Strathclyde and Exeter universities are scheduled to start this coming January. Students will be trained within the industry, and will be trained using cutting-edge technology. Along with the universities, the program will involve the Scottish Association for Marine Science and companies such as Caterpillar, Rolls Royce, Shell and BP. In addition, students will receive education on the business and economic sides of the offshore wind industry.
Besides serving as a place of education, the Centre will be part of the U.K.’s Energy Programme, which works towards reducing the nation’s carbon emissions. The Centre will also be a part of the Energy Technologies Institute‘s Marine and Offshore Wind Programmes. Funding for the Centre will come from the institute as well as Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which leads the Energy Programme.
On visiting the University of Edinburgh, Vince Cable said, “Engineering skills are vital for the growth of a more sustainable economy and are in high demand from employers. Scotland has real strengths in renewable energy – wind, wave and tidal power, building on a strong tradition of hydro. These students will have the chance to work with some of the leading energy companies based here and tackle one of our biggest challenges – developing technology for a greener future.”
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