Interview with Elliot Simon
Elliot Simon studied the Master's Programme in Wind Power Project Management at Campus Gotland in 2014 and 2015. He is now living in Denmark working as a Senior R&D Engineer in Test and Measurements at DTU Wind Energy.
I knew from the beginning that Sweden was a forward-looking country and mindful about sustainability. Through researching options for graduate education I determined that Europe and particularly Scandinavia were far ahead of progress elsewhere. Uppsala University offers a wind-power focused master degree which was a strong fit for my profile, and so I applied. Getting the chance to explore Gotland and learn more about its history was also a strong draw for me to the programme.
The scholarship generously funded through donations to American Friends of Uppsala University allowed me to establish myself in a field that is making positive change, while providing the time and financial freedom to focus fully on my studies and professional development.
During my Master studies I attended the main European wind power conference (EWEA at the time), and met a group from DTU working with a technology I had learned about and was very interested in. They invited me to come to Denmark and carry out field work using these instruments and analyse results for my master thesis. This experience generated new ideas for applying and developing the technology, and so I continued into a PhD programme which I completed in 2019. Now I am specialised in all aspects of atmospheric measurements, and lead complex R&D projects where we test and measure at many of the world's largest wind power projects.
I see myself continuing to support the clean energy transition on a global scale. Right now I feel my current work in Europe is both important and valued. I have been fortunate to live in many different cultures and don't feel particularly tied to any one place. At the same time, I have been following the growing American clean technology sector and could see a good opportunity to take what I have learned in Europe and make a positive impact there.
The Gotland campus is remarkably beautiful. I really enjoyed being so close to the sea and exploring such a historic place. The class trips we took to the wind farms in Näsudden were a highlight, as were the guided tours given by historian Mikael Norrby. My summer spent in Uppsala taking Swedish courses was also great fun. I have many fantastic memories from my time in Sweden and luckily I am still able to visit often.