Billia Croo Wave Energy Test Site, EMEC  Orkney

Aerial of EMEC Billia Croo wave test site (Credit Colin Keldie)

As the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) is celebrating it’s 200th year anniversary in 2018, it is taking this opportunity to highlight 200 inspirational and world-changing projects from around the globe throughout the year. These projects are nominated by ICE’s members and selected by an expert panel, the chosen projects illustrate the breadth and depth of civil engineering’s impact; one of the 200 projects to be chosen is The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Stromness Orkney.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney was established in 2003 and is the world’s leading facility supporting the testing, demonstration and verification of wave and tidal energy devices, with 20 developers from 11 different countries having tested their cutting-edge renewable technology at EMEC. There are numerous success stories including the world’s largest floating tidal test turbine, Scotrenewables’ SR1-2000, which has generated up to 7% of Orkney’s electricity needs on occasion. This activity has acted as a catalyst for economic growth in the region, encouraging local talent to take advantage of the jobs being created on their doorstep whilst also attracting people to move to the Orkney from across the world. Orkney is now host to a highly experienced supply chain for the wave and tidal energy sectors, servicing local projects as well as exporting their knowledge and expertise globally. The Carbon Trust estimate that 20% of the UK’s electricity could come from marine renewables; an industry in which the UK is in pole position and in which there are world-wide export opportunities worth billions.

Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC said:

“EMEC are delighted to have been recognised for the pioneering and world-changing work that is taking place on our sites. As well as the fantastic achievements in device development and testing, we are also driving and supporting projects which are daily fostering innovation at our test centre. In the last 12 months alone we became the first to produce hydrogen from tidal energy and recently hosted the deployment of Microsoft’s underwater data centre here in Orkney.

All the advances taking place at EMEC bring huge opportunities to the marine industries of the UK. With the continued encouragement, further investment and commitment from the UK Government, we know marine energy will help make the UK a prosperous, decarbonised and green economy.”

The European Marine Energy Centre joins the 200 projects which will be published throughout the year on the What Is Civil Engineering? pages of the ICE website. What is Civil Engineering, will not only host these projects but can also be used as a career guidance tool for those hoping to pursue a career in civil engineering. Once inspired by the projects being produced each month, there is comprehensive advice and guidance on how to become a civil engineer no matter what level of education someone has, or what stage in their career they have reached.

This platform has been designed to help promote the career of civil engineering after it was revealed that only 45% of adults know what the career entails and only 35% of young people could tell you what a civil engineer does.

To find out more about civil engineering follow the links:

In conjunction with ICE’s bicentenary year events are planned for throughout 2018 and information will be made available on the ICE website.

They shall also take this opportunity to remind the general public that civil engineers transform their lives for the better and safeguard the future for their families. In doing so, the institution also hopes to encourage young people to see civil engineering as a creative, rewarding and highly enjoyable career.

The perception survey conducted by ICE, in conjunction with TLF, had a sample size of 1,000 adults and a second group of 1,000 young people. The research found that:

A survey of 1000 adults and 1000 young people showed that:

• 55.1% of adults stated that they didn’t know what a civil engineer does

• 65% of young people stated they didn’t know what a civil engineer does

• Only 36.5% of those surveyed could identify a civil engineering project in the UK

The survey was conducted by ICE in conjunction with TLF (The Leadership Factor)

Reported on by Helen Armet

Leave a Reply