Axel Bondoux

Being a 4th-year student at Arts & Métiers ParisTech, a French engineering school, which have provided me a general engineering background, with a strong specialisation on mechanical and industrial engineering, I wanted to specialise on marine renewable energies. Through a partnership between Arts & Métiers ParisTech and Heriot-Watt, I managed to follow the RED MSc as my final year of engineering studies/school.

I quickly realised that Orkney was certainly one of the best places to study renewable energies. To me, the Orkney campus gathers the optimal conditions to ensure students to succeed. The staff/students relationships are just amazing! From the first day, students are so close to the staff (lecturers, researchers and administration) that it creates a familial and friendly atmosphere, ideal to bring confidence, comfort and good working conditions to the students. The lectures provide a high-standard knowledge about every aspect of renewables. Coming from a technical background, I have enjoyed Colin's lectures about renewables technologies but I have also been surprisingly very interested by Sandy's economics module and Jon's policy and risk course, which have provided me very important knowledge about some unknown and unexpected non-technical aspects of renewable energies.

However, in spite of all these great studying aspects, for me, the greatest thing of Orkney is the closeness with industrials, involved in the renewables sector and especially in marine renewable energies, and the ease to get in touch with them. Indeed, being a developed wave and tidal testing site thanks to EMEC, the Orkney campus is literally encompassed by companies. Then, either professionally, through field trips organised by the university or conferences organised by industrials, or extra-professionally, through sport for example, it is really easy and quick to get professional relationships and build a strong network in the renewables sector. Thanks to that, I managed to do my dissertation project in collaboration with Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited, a local tidal turbine developer, for whom I am now working.