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Heriot-Watt University, Orkney Campus: Profile



ICIT – The International Centre for Island Technology

Heriot-Watt University's Orkney Campus

Want a unique island life student experience? Find a career in the renewables sector and come to the beautiful island of Orkney to study renewables!

The International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) is the home of Heriot-Watt University’s Orkney Campus and is recognised as a world leader in research, training and consultancy, with particular expertise in renewable energy, marine science and environmental resources.

ICIT offers a unique opportunity to study in the 'hub' of the renewable energy industry in Stromness. Our four Master's degree programmes attract students from around the world, ranging from Thailand, Kazakhstan, Hawaii, Mexico, Hungary, France, Italy, Spain and Ireland.

The courses offered are:

•  MSc Renewable Energy Development (RED)
•  MSc Marine Renewable Energy (MRE)
•  MSc Marine Planning for Sustainable Development (MPSD)
•  MSc Integrated Marine Data Skills (IMDS)

The campus offers a variety of field trips, including the potential of a field trip to Malaysia:

The campus boasts an excellent track record with students quickly gaining employment on graduation. A previous student of the Orkney Campus, Elisabeth Rabe, who graduated with MSc Renewable Energy Development in 2015 is now working as a Project Controller for a wind farm developer in Germany.

Graduate Interview with Elisabeth Rabe

Elisabeth graduated with an MSc in Renewable Energy Development from our Orkney Campus.
She is now Project Controller for an onshore wind farm developer.

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I am working for an onshore wind farm developer as Project Controller. My task is to ensure that the projects are of high quality before the company enters into negotiations for funding and later for the sale of the project.  I achieve this by conducting a thorough technical, legal and economical due diligence at certain milestones of a project. In addition, I monitor the progress and keep an eye on certain deadlines.

How did studying Renewable Energy Development at Orkney help you in your current role?

Due to the content of the programme I have managed to get a job in the industry. Conducting the due diligence of a wind farm development, I need to be able to understand and assess technical, environmental, legal and economical aspects. The programme provided me with an in-depth understanding of the characteristics and challenges concerning the renewable energies from a multi-disciplinary point of view. It gave me the background to evaluate and assess new information and also practical experience to take into the workplace.

What advice do you have for any prospective student thinking of joining the Orkney Campus?

Go for it! Orkney offers you a unique experience in a unique environment. It gives you the opportunity to study in a first class educational institution as well as experiencing many technologies first hand and meeting professionals from the industry. The Orkney Campus certainly is one of the best places to study renewable energies and Orkney is an amazing place to live. I've enjoyed every minute!

The Orkney Campus offers a range of scholarships from Fred Olsen as well as SFC funding.
Prospective students are encouraged to find out more by emailing ICIT@hw.ac.uk or calling 01856 852252.