Ten honoured at fourth Young Professionals Green Energy Awards in Glasgow

25/05/18 | News release

Ten up-and-coming green energy stars have been honoured at the 2018 Young Professionals Green Energy Awards

Winners included James Williamson, who won the Engineer Award for saving employer SSE over £250,000 by suggesting refurbishing rather than replacing a damaged valve at Quoich Dam in the Highlands.

The talented young engineer used algebraic equations to produce a 3D model of the part – cutting costs and ensuring the 63-year-old scheme continued producing green energy.

He joins nine others in receiving honours at the Young Professionals Green Energy Awards, which were held in Glasgow tonight (May 24).

Also honoured were John Freeburn, a serviceman turned wind turbine technician who won the Apprentice Award for working with Windhoist’s huge cranes to grow Europe’s wind fleet, and Sarah Cochetel, who won the Project Manager Award for delivering more than 100 solar PV projects during her time with Wood.

Hannah Greening of EDF Renewables was handed the coveted Judges Award for her management of the Corriemoillie Wind Farm Blanket Mire Restoration Project.

The youngest finalist of the evening was 17-year-old whizzkid Gavin Kitching, who received a Special Commendation from the judges. The ScottishPower Energy Networks analyst was nominated for managing “vast quantities of data” on the company’s UK smart meter roll-out.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the industry body which organises the awards, said:

“I’m very impressed by the level of talent showcased at the Young Professionals Green Energy Awards this year.

“The winners have shown skills beyond their years of experience and they’re certainly punching well above their weight in their new careers. They are truly the best and brightest of our industry.

“What stands out for me is the dedication and professionalism shown by all of our shortlisted entrants. Their achievements absolutely demonstrate their commitment to both their careers and to the future of renewable energy.”

The full list of winners is:

Academic Award (Sponsored by the Energy Technology Partnership): Merlinda Andoni, Heriot-Watt University
Achiever Award (Sponsored by Hurley Palmer Flatt): James Shearer, SP Energy Networks
Apprentice Award (Sponsored by Centre for Work Based Learning in Scotland): John Freeburn, Windhoist
Business Development Award: Fred Pullar, Renewable Parts Ltd
Communicator Award: Lorna Archer, Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd
Engineer Award (Sponsored by ESB): James Williamson, SSE
Innovator Award (Sponsored by Highlands & Islands Enterprise): Ross Tierney, SP Energy Networks
Professional Award (Sponsored by WSP): Marc Costa-Ros, Wood
Project Manager Award: Sarah Cochetel, Wood
Judges Award (Sponsored by ScottishPower Renewables): Hannah Greening, EDF Renewables
Special Commendation: Gavin Kitching, SP Energy Networks

ScottishPower Renewables was the headline sponsor of the 2018 Young Professionals Green Energy Awards.

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said:

“The renewable energy industry offers a diverse range of highly-skilled career opportunities, and the YPGEA again this year has highlighted that our sector can attract very talented people. All of the winners and nominees richly deserve to be recognised for their outstanding work.

“As our industry continues the fight against climate change in the years ahead, and as we aim to break even more records for the amount of green electricity being delivered, it is encouraging to see that the future of renewables in Scotland is in very safe hands.”

The winners of the 2018 Young Professionals Green Energy Awards will go on to compete for the Young and Inspiring Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards, which will be held in Edinburgh on December 6.