Now we hear from Richard Ainsworth who tells us about his journey to his current job as US Project Engineer with EMEC.
Richard explains that his career path wasn’t straightforward. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, where he worked as a science communicator and developed a passion to help others understand the world around us. Following university, he lived and worked in New Zealand and Australia before returning to the UK to work with British Airways as an Aircraft Mechanic. Wanting to make a positive impact on the world, he returned to university, gaining his MSc in Marine Renewables Energy at Heriot-Watt ICIT in Stromness, before joining EMEC.
Can you describe a typical day in your job?
No two days are the same! In my current role I would mostly be engaging with clients to ensure we are delivering great quality work or developing new contacts and company links that we can help in the future.
How did you end up in this role?
It is certainly not a straightforward path. My background is in Mechanical Engineering that I study at the University of Strathclyde (MEng 2004-2009). During that time, I worked as a Science Communicator and really developed a passion to help others understand the world around us and how we engage with it. During my studies I was very fortunate to go on two student exchange programs where I was able to live in the far North of Sweden and the deep south of the USA. Both were fantastic opportunities not only to engage with lots of people from different cultures and backgrounds but building confidence being able to be away from home comforts and adapting to new environments.
Following university, I moved overseas for a short period of travel that ended up turning into living in New Zealand for the best part of three years and an additional year in Australia. Here I continued to adapt working various jobs with the core being in Operations and Maintenance at a ski resort.
Returning home to Glasgow I used my hands on experience and engineering qualifications to land a job at British Airways as an Aircraft Mechanic.
I knew I wanted my long-term career to really make a positive impact in the world so start looking to go back to higher education to specialise in renewables. Finding the Marine Renewable MSc program held at the Heriot-Watt ICIT Campus in Stromness seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. By the time I finished this degree I was fortunate enough to be offered a place at EMEC where over the last three years I have held several roles and genuinely feel like we are making a positive difference in the world.
As you can see that is a bit of a winding path my key bit of advice would be to try new things, get out your comfort zone and remember that all experiences are adaptable and transferable.
What is the best thing about your job?
Pushing the boundaries to make the world a better place. Working with a great bunch of people helps also.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Being based on the computer all day.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
What qualifications do you have?
MEng in Mechanical Engineering
MSc in Marine Renewable Energy
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
Yes, in fact I would recommend any job where you can make a positive difference in the world. The challenge is huge but so are the opportunities, it is not an exaggeration that we have less than ten years to turn things around. This is humanity’s future defining point, what a time to be starting your career!! Good luck!
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