Celebrating Global Wind Day 2024

2024 Global wind day stock image

13 June 2024

Author: Emily Chowne, QEPrize Ambassador


Ahead of Global Wind Day, QEPrize Ambassador and Graduate Power System Engineer, Emily Chowne, discusses how the work of our 2024 QEPrize Laureates has impacted her work and the future of wind power.

15 June, also known as Global Wind Day, is an annual worldwide event for learning and sharing one’s passion for wind energy, its history, and the possibilities for the future. I think it is also a great day to acknowledge the achievements of two pioneers in wind turbine technology, the 2024 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) winners Andrew Garrad and Henrik Stiesdal.

Over the course of their careers, Garrad and Stiesdal have made significant contributions to the design and manufacture of wind turbines, including Stiesdal’s three-blade turbine design known as the Danish Concept and Garrad’s Bladed simulation software that allows us to model complicated turbine systems. Their work has had a profound impact on our ability to harness wind energy on a scale that is needed to power our increasingly electrified world in a clean, emission-free way.

Less than a year into my own career in the energy industry, the impact of Garrad and Stiesdal’s legacy can already be seen in my role as a Graduate Power System Engineer at National Grid as we race against time to connect 50GW of offshore wind to the UK electricity grid by 2030.

My role focuses on planning for the UK's evolving energy landscape, and examining how to adapt our network development accordingly. I ask questions such as; What should an offshore wind network look like? How will our move to more weather-dependent generation sources affect the way we plan our electricity network of the future? These are questions that we would not be able to answer without the work of Garrad and Stiesdal who have been integral to the proliferation of wind power generation, both on and offshore.

These questions are reminiscent of the discussions in my lectures at university which really cemented my aspiration for a career in energy. We are amid a period of immense change as we move towards a more sustainable energy future, and, yes, there will be challenges along the way. However, it is these challenges that I find exciting as a young engineer in the field. Asking the hard questions and striving to find the right solutions that will have a positive impact on the world around us, as our QEPrize winners have done throughout their careers, is something I aspire to do myself.

The 2024 QEPrize is a special one for me. It was my first opportunity to be part of the QEPrize Ambassador Network and I must thank David Adkins, a fellow QEPrize Ambassador, for introducing me to the network and putting my name forward. My first task was to help with some of the filming for the 2024 QEPrize announcement. Being on camera was slightly nerve wracking for me, but ultimately, I was very honoured to contribute and be able to speak about the industry I am so passionate about. I look forward to delving further into the network, learning from experienced engineers, and playing my part in inspiring the next generation.

Happy Global Wind Day Everyone!

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More on the author, Emily Chowne, QEPrize Ambassador

Graduate Power System Engineer at National Grid.

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