Connecting with industry
JDR Cables Inc., a subsidiary of Tele-Fonika Kables, and Tufts University are establishing an Engineering Co-op Student Office on the Tufts University campus in Medford, Massachusetts.
Recent activities by the U.S. and Massachusetts governments are accelerating the development of offshore wind energy off the Massachusetts coast. These measures are driving a transformation of the energy grid that is reinvigorating the development of offshore wind energy in the U.S. They include growing federal support for research and development and action on designating ocean areas in which development of offshore wind farms will have the highest priority.
To supply this emerging American industry with engineering professionals, Tufts University has established a program around offshore power system design to be taught at its School of Engineering, in collaboration with JDR Cables, Inc. Also in collaboration with JDR Cables, the university has established an undergraduate Engineering Cooperative Education Office for Tufts University students who are in their junior and senior year and wish to pursue a career in the offshore wind industry. JDR Cables Inc. and its parent company Tele-Fonika Kables are a world leader in offshore wind power cables and will contribute expertise in maritime energy and high voltage subsea power system design to help Tufts develop a leading program for professional engineers. The Engineering Cooperative Education Office will connect student engineers at Tufts with mentors and work experiences at JDR Cables project sites around the world, including internships at JDR Cables’ United Kingdom and Poland factories, gaining exposure to the engineering, development, manufacturing, assembly and testing of subsea cable products. JDR Cables has a long history of supporting STEM programs in the United Kingdom as well as partnering with UK universities in a similar manner, and this will be the company’s first collaboration with a major U.S. university.
This collaboration between higher education and business is a perfect example of building competitive advantages in the growing Massachusetts and entire U.S. market for offshore wind.
David Nemetz, Director for the Americas at JDR, said: “Our cooperation is a great opportunity to increase the potential of the region by preparing appropriate, highly qualified staff -- i.e. managers, designers, technologists -- who will enter the market not only with a large scope of theoretical knowledge, but also practical knowledge, resulting from the experience of working with our team at JDR and Tele-Fonika. It is also worth adding that JDR already has experience in cooperation in this type of educational projects. Our UK company has been successfully leading STEM engagement programs for medium and technical students for several years. We see this as a great opportunity to develop not only the future U.S. offshore wind JDR leaders but for the entire U.S. offshore wind market.”
Jianmin Qu, Dean of the School of Engineering at Tufts University, said: "One of our school’s top priorities is preparing our students to help lead industry in the harvesting of energy from offshore wind and supporting the U.S strategic initiative to produce more energy using renewable, environmentally friendly resources.” Qu added, “With opportunities to learn from experts and to gain hands-on experience, our graduates will be well-positioned in this growing global industry.”