- Addressing the problems facing
the UK electrical power industry -
Institution of Electrical Engineers, the electricity supply industries,
the power equipment manufacturers, the power consultants and four
prestigious UK universities have formed the Power Academy in response
to the growing shortage of qualified electrical power engineers
in the UK.
Universities involved in the scheme are Southampton, Strathclyde,
Manchester and Queen’s University of Belfast; and the companies
are Central Networks, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, Western Power,
CE Electric, National Grid Transco, United Utilities, Scottish
and Southern Energy, Viridian, Jersey Electric, EA Technology,
Siemens, VA Tech, ABB, Kelman, FG Wilson, PB Power and Atkins
Academy aims to attract more UK and EU students onto the best
Electrical and Electronic Engineering BEng and MEng degrees using
an attractive mix of financial incentives, technical training
and business education. The academy will promote the opportunities
to be gained from a career in the power industry.
Electricity Industry Review estimates that, since the privatisation
of UK electricity supply industry, the number of people employed
in the industry has decreased by 62%. At present, there are probably
between 100 and 200 home students studying on UK electrical and
electronic degree courses with an emphasis on power engineering.
Queen’s graduates 20 – 30 students in this category every year.
The power networking companies estimate they need 200 of these
graduates every year, and the power equipment manufacturing companies
a similar number. Compounding the problem is the need for qualified
electrical power engineers to design and maintain the smaller,
localised generation sources, which are a major part of the Government’s
renewable energy policy.
shortage of electrical power engineers can be attributed to a
combination of factors:
and colleges are not producing adequate numbers of students
with high calibre Maths, Physics & Technology skills.
EEE schools have moved their research and teaching activities
away from power engineering into other less expensive options;
exceptions are Manchester, Southampton, Strathclyde & Queen’s.
numbers of power engineers have recently retired or will retire
during the next 10 years.
need for power engineers due to changing network requirements
and government policies.
Power Academy will recruit around 50 undergraduate students in
2005, rising up to 60 students in 2006. These students will be
sponsored throughout their courses by the Power Academy. Benefits
will include payment of tuition fees, a £2000 bursary, £250 for
course materials, IEE membership and a summer school in core business
and management skills. Students will also be offered paid industrial
placement and vacation experience.
you know any school or college student who wants to study Electrical
and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s then please encourage them
to apply for a scholarship. For a student starting this year on
the MEng course it will be financially worth almost £14,000.
you are already at Queen’s studying on the EEE course and are
interested in electrical power engineering, then apply now. If
you are successful the scholarship will start next September and
continue until the end of your degree. Note:- the company that
sponsors you expects you to work for them after you graduate.