What Does a Wind Energy Engineer Do?

A. Leverkuhn

A wind energy engineer works to harness the power of wind to effectively feed a power grid or other electrical power system. Experts describe the wind energy engineer’s job as creating wind energy collection systems that will utilize the natural power of moving air to create electricity. Many of these tasks require in-depth education and skill sets related to mechanical engineering.

Terrestrial wind farm.
Terrestrial wind farm.

Apart from considering the comprehensive design of wind collection systems, the wind energy engineer may also be involved in evaluating issues of compliance with health and safety codes, or any other regulations in a particular jurisdiction. These engineers may be involved in issues with land-use or other local laws in specific municipalities. These general issues may provide important guidance on how to build a specific wind energy system in a given location.

Wind farm on the ocean.
Wind farm on the ocean.

Engineers who are working on wind energy systems will often take on extremely technical and mechanical tasks related to specific elements of these systems. This includes building or maintaining turbines for a specific scale, or outfitting an existing turbine or generator with appropriate accessories. Wind energy engineer professionals also often work on creating models or schematics for prototypes of wind power applications.

While many of the scientific and mechanical roles of the engineer involve working solo, or within an engineering department, other parts of the job may require consulting outside groups. Where the wind energy systems will be products marketed to a specific audience, the wind energy engineer may meet with a sales team on a regular basis, for example. These engineers may also meet with upper level management to discuss targets for the implementation of wind energy systems.

As specific knowledge of wind energy engineering is crucial for this job role, many of those who pursue a job as a wind energy engineer may get relevant degrees such as a BS in environmental science. They may also build a practical skill set by evaluating and constructing existing prototypes, like small windmills, on an informal basis. This kind of “praxis” activity helps individuals to prove their expertise with alternative energy systems before they get a formal job in wind engineering. These projects also help less experienced engineers to become familiar with the general jargon and construction methods of most wind energy systems.

Those who design and implement wind energy farms typically have a background in mechanical engineering.
Those who design and implement wind energy farms typically have a background in mechanical engineering.

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