Powered By Innovation – Inspiring Wind Education
Published on 09th of July 2020
Laura Pardo Garcia
Regional CSR Manager at Vestas
Inspiring the next generation of engineers and wind warriors was the premise behind two innovative programmes that Vestas piloted in Tamaulipas, Mexico in 2018 and 2019 - Fueling Wind Education and Turbine 350W. Driven by the Vestas LATAM CSR team, the team worked in collaboration with the State of Tamaulipas and educational institutions in the region. The programmes that were developed provided technical and vocational training designed to meet the needs of the local labour market, with a primary focus on wind energy. In the case of Turbine 350W the small-scale turbine provided useable energy to power a local school.
The exciting new pilot programme, Fuelling Wind Education, was proposed to over 16 specialised schools within Tamaulipas and initiated across multiple schools and universities in the state including Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and Victoria Polytechnic University. The programmes ranged in size from 20 – 60 students and exposed the students to a wide-ranging set of topics around wind and renewable energy.
At the Tampico campus of ITESM the Semester I programme was focused on inspiring the students through technology and robotics with a chance for the young engineers to show off their skills at the end of the year through an interactive robotics challenge. The project was aimed at addressing real professional challenges, giving the students the invaluable opportunity to develop their disciplinary skills and strengthen their transversal skills. Over the course of a semester a group of 25 students worked on a real-life challenge that arises in the industry, culminating in a demonstration of their solution. You can hear about the process from the students themselves, and see their unique inventions, in the video below which was produced by the university.
Victoria Polytechnic University introduced a Diploma in Maintenance of Wind Generators, providing a much needed new generation of experts to support the Tamaulipas energy industry. The first graduating class of this new programme had the pleasure of a commencement address from Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, the governor of Tamaulipas who proudly welcomed the new graduates into his ambitious plan to have Tamaulipas generate 25 percent of the installed capacity in Mexico within the next few years.
In February 2019 the second generation of students in this course started their education. The programme’s success has garnered it attention from other municipalities and is expected to be expanded to Reynosa, Altamira, and Nuevo Laredo with the participation of technological and polytechnic universities, technological institutions, CONALEP, COBAT, and ITACE.
The two main pillars of these innovative programmes were comprised first of education and training, strengthening relations between Vestas and both professional and educational institutions in the state of Tamaulipas that offer technical and vocational training that adapt to the demands of the local labour market, particularly within wind energy. The second pillar, on-site learning, focused on building the relationship between the students of the state of Tamaulipas, institutions of higher education, and companies that offer work experience closely related to the wind sector.