Arnaud Eté, France
A random Google search on renewable energy courses in the UK led Arnaud Eté from his home town of Marseille to Glasgow where he now works for engineering consultants SgurrEnergy.
How did you get involved in renewable energy sector?
I studied general engineering degree in Marseille but got interested in the area of renewable energy. As France is heavily reliant on nuclear energy, we did not have a large renewable energy sector at that time so I knew that I would have to look abroad.
I did the equivalent of an MSc in mechanical engineering at Ecole des Mines de Nancy and I decided to do my final year at another university.
As I was keen to study in the UK to improve my English I did a Google search for renewable energy courses and Strathclyde University in Glasgow was the first entry to come up.
It specialised in energy systems and the environment and I even got a grant from the Scottish Government to pay for course fees so it was ideal.
How did you come to work for SgurrEnergy?
The course requires you to carry out two research projects with a company in the renewable energy sector and this is how I came to contact SgurrEnergy.
They are an international engineering consulting company that specialises in a wide range of renewable energy projects, from wave and tidal power system in Scotland to the offshore wind projects in China.
My first project involved analysing weather data for wind predictions for potential wind farm projects, but the second involved developing computer models for hydrogen energy systems.
This was very interesting and the company were keen to keep me on the project after I finished my course so I was employed as a knowledge transfer partnership associate – a role joint-funded by the university and the company – to complete the project.
What is your role now at SgurrEnergy?
I’ve now been employed as a Renewable Energy Consultant and work within the Low Carbon Services Team, but still working on developing and optimising hydrogen systems. We are designing these to be integrated with other renewable systems and they are particularly suited for remote communities.
It’s a very good atmosphere to work in. There are lots of experienced people here who provide support and we are encouraged to find projects that can have a business potential.
How do you find living in Scotland?
I’ve lived in Glasgow for three and a half years now and I still enjoy living here. I’ve done a lot of travelling in that time – up to the north of Scotland, the Isle of Skye and other islands.
My real love is sports – especially football – so Glasgow is a great place to be as everyone is football mad! I’ve made friends and still see people I studied with at university.
And I can easily visit home as there are now regular flights from Prestwick Airport to Marseille.
I’m really here to gain experience in the renewable energy industry. I would never get this opportunity in France, as the sector is still relatively small. So Scotland is the best place to be.