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Why Is It ‘Green’ Energy? Green Energy role models

How can we generate the electricity we all use every day but without having to burn coal, oil, or gas to do it? Green energy scientists are at work trying to answer this question. They might be working on wind turbines, solar panels, in power stations, or even trying to find out brand new ways to generate electricity.


Name: Katie Fish.

Job: Climate Adaptation for EDF Energy UK, an energy company.

Hobbies: I really enjoy getting outdoors and into nature. Cycling, trail running, paddle boarding, and travelling to new places to do my favourite hobbies!

How did you get to where you are now?
I joined EDF’s engineering graduate scheme after university. My role involved the safety of nuclear power plants if a natural hazard happens. I went back to university to study weather and climate back in 2015. Since then, I have focused on the potential impacts of severe weather events and ensuring that nuclear power plants will be safe and reliable in a future climate.

What inspired you to choose your job?
I think climate change is the biggest issue facing the world, and I want to use my experience and knowledge to contribute to the solution.

What is the best thing about what you do?
Finishing the week feeling like I have made a difference, whether that’s mentoring colleagues, solving a challenging technical issue, or just learning something new!

Name: Yehuda Lethbridge.

Job: Innovation Engineer, Drax power station.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Creative, outgoing and caring.

What inspired you to choose your job?
I did a master’s in atmospheric physics and I learned how much of a difference I could make if I applied my knowledge to tackling climate change. I have always tried to focus on doing things that I love as much as I can.

Is your job hard or dangerous or fun?
My job is hard but rewarding and safety is our number one priority. I work in a power station, which can be very dangerous if you don’t look after yourself and follow the right safety protocols. However, working on massive projects that make such a difference is certainly FUN.

What are the people you work with like?
There are many people like me who are outgoing, but many that are introvert and quiet too. My team would not work if we didn’t have people who like to think quietly, or if we didn’t have people who could stand in front of a large audience to give presentations. Anybody could be in my team and make a massive difference!

Name: Dr Lucy Whalley.

Job: Assistant Professor in Physics.

Hobbies: Days out with my daughter, running, watching reality TV.

How did you get to where you are now?
I knew I wanted to work with computers, ever since watching the film Hackers as a teenager. I also wanted to work on a global challenge and contribute something back to society. Computational materials physics, where I design new materials for renewable energy technologies, combines both of these things.

What is the best thing about what you do?
Having the opportunity to problem solve and pick through difficult challenges is a privilege, and I think it would be difficult to find another career which allows so much freedom. I also find physics calming; when the world around me is a little chaotic, retreating into the world of atoms and electrons can feel like welcome escape.

Is your job hard or dangerous or fun?
My job is hard and fun. I spend a lot of time feeling lost or unsure – that’s a feeling I have had to get used to when doing research. So it is hard mainly because we need to keep chipping away even when the solution or the way forward isn’t obvious. It is also fun – visiting new places, meeting new people, or sharing our excitement around a breakthrough in understanding.

IOP green energy role models sticker showing a wind turbine