Picture of the girls participating in the event at DTU Risø Campus.

Girls in wind energy

Tuesday 08 Oct 19

Contact

Lars Pilgaard Mikkelsen
Associate Professor
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 47 09

Contact

Justine Beauson
Development Engineer
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 57 08

The world needs more women in science and engineering, and we think there is no better place than wind energy to be. That is why DTU Wind Energy joined the Girls in Science Day at DTU on October 2nd with a full day programme dedicated to girls aged 17-18 interested in wind energy.

“How is a wind turbine blade actually made?”, one of the girls asks as they look at the decommissioned blades at our ‘blade graveyard’.

Justine Beauson and Lars P. Mikkelsen explain and demonstrate as the girls are given a tour at the molds and base materials in our BladeLab and the decommissioned blades. For most of the girls, this is the first time they are getting a close-up look at a wind turbine.

To Justine and Lars, there is no doubt that the hands-on experience is an important experience.

“It was pleasure to talk with students with a deep interest in the climate target and wind energy and in addition to the technical content, the girls were also very interested to hear about how it is to work as an engineer. Something they could get a first-hand impression of by talking to some of our female colleagues and master students”, Justine explains.

Annual event
The Girls in Science Day is organised by TEKTANKEN and as a STEM educational institution, DTU organised several events at the DTU campuses on October 2nd. Because we really do need more girls to choose a STEM education. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), women make up 32% of the workforce in renewable energy. However, the share of women in STEM-jobs is much lower at only 28%.

“Gender balance in the industry is a hot topic at the moment. The Global Wind Energy Council, Wind Energy Denmark and large manufactures such as LM Wind Power are giving it considerable attention. The sector wants to attract the best talents and many of those talents are women”, says Lars Mikkelsen.

AT DTU Wind Energy, gender equality has also moved to the forefront of the agenda. Internally, Justin Beauson and colleagues have organised the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) network that meets on a regular basis to discuss and promote gender equality in the department.

“I am happy to have the chance to share my experience and maybe deconstruct some of these myths about being a female engineer. It is still seen as an exception in some areas and the girls may think that female engineers are special and that they need exceptional skills to get there. So one of my messages to the girls was that you do not need to be a genius in math or physics. I entered engineering education to get a secure job in the future, without knowing what my daily working life would be.”