This International Women in Engineering Day, we meet two sisters based in the town of Grimsby, UK, who work together in the offshore wind industry.
Georgea and Katie Cherrell are both wind turbine technicians working for Danish renewable energy firm Ørsted, at the heart of the port estate in Grimsby. Sitting beneath the town’s iconic dock tower, the company’s operations and maintenance facility for offshore wind hosts over 400 staff, around 85% of whom live locally.
Having joined the company in May 2021, Katie is still undergoing her intensive training package which will enable her to travel offshore later this year. Having applied for the role back in August, when the company’s recruitment drive saw more than 1,200 people apply for 23 positions, Katie was successful in her appointment subject to her completing her apprenticeship with HETA.
”Our older brothers both work in the engineering trade,” said Katie, ”and even though when I was younger, I wanted to be a primary school teacher, I knew that I wanted a practical role which would come with exciting challenges and opportunities to try something new.”
Due to transfer across to Hornsea Two offshore wind farm later this year, Georgea is excited to be working on what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once complete in 2022.
”I cannot wait to start working on a two-week shift pattern on board our new vessel, the Wind of Hope,” said Georgea. ”Living and working together will give me the unique chance to build some solid relationships with the teams I’m going to be working alongside for the foreseeable future.”
The theme for this years’ International Women’s Day is Engineering Heroes. When asked who inspired them in their career journey, the sisters turned to one another and laughed. ”I’m a little younger than Georgea and I’ve literally just followed in her footsteps,” said Katie.
“I went down the STEM apprenticeship route like she did and although we worked in different industries to start with, it’s so good to be working together and knowing that we’re making a real change in the world together.”