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Wind Turbine Engineer

Sketch out and build turbines to convert wind power into energy.

What does a Wind Turbine Engineer do?

A Wind Turbine Engineer’s job is to design and build wind turbines that can capture and convert wind energy. Because it blows every day, it’s easy to forget that wind is powerful stuff. One gust at a time, it can cool the earth, move sailboats, fly kites, and pollinate flowers. Harnessed correctly, it can even generate electricity with which to light, heat, protect, and power people’s homes.

As a Wind Turbine Engineer, you do the harnessing. Employed by alternative energy companies, environmental consultancies, and wind energy firms, you combine science, math, and design in order to build blueprints for aerodynamic machines — high-tech windmills, basically — that simultaneously maximize energy and safety, and minimize noise, visual impact, and risk.

Like most Engineers, you spend your days as a Wind Turbine Engineer drafting designs and making calculations in pursuit of structures that are safe, sturdy, and serviceable. For instance, you think about size, shape, cost, material, and manufacturing processes (for example, how tall should the wind turbine’s tower be, how many blades should the “fan” have, and what’s the ideal shape for those blades?). In addition, you think about issues related to installation and operation (for example, how far apart should wind turbines be spaced on wind farms in order to achieve optimal performance?).

As much a Project Manager as you are an Engineer, you approach potential questions with answers, and potential problems with solutions, all in order to find the best and most affordable way to harness wind energy that’s cheap, clean, reliable, and — perhaps most importantly, if you ask alternative energy advocates — renewable.