SpaceShipTwo

Where in the world?

It might be a well-worn cliché but the world really is your oyster as an engineer. We count down some of the world’s hotspots for engineering talent.

Head for the sun to the Middle East

The oil rich countries of the Middle East are well advanced with their investment in renewables reports Rowena Simpson, business manager of specialist job site Renewablescareers.com.

“They know that the exported price of the finite resource of oil far exceeds the home market price and so investment in renewables makes financial sense now and as a long-term energy strategy,” says Simpson, who reports that last year Saudi Aramco conducted a global recruitment campaign to attract solar engineers to work on development of its technology.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates already has the world’s biggest solar thermal plant and recently announced a £1billion investment in UK renewable energy developments.

Make a play for the US

Texas remains a target area for those engineers wanting to work in the US oil and gas industry. Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, for instance, is the largest single economic development in the history of the state, explains Joseph Jones, business development executive at the American office of the job site Oilcareers.com.

The play is also rated the biggest oil and gas development in the world based on capital investment. Oil and gas development supported some 100,000 jobs in South Texas, last year, and reports claim this will double across the next ten years.

Jones cites North Dakota as another fast-growing area for jobs as home to Bakken Shale Play. North Dakota is second only to Texas for oil production. He adds that among the other US hotspots for oil and gas include Alabama, Colorado, Michigan and Oklahoma, which all have significant plays.

“Meanwhile, offshore, hundreds of companies look for onshore and offshore staff to drill, complete, produce and transport oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico,” he adds.

Help rebuild New Zealand

The 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and subsequent rebuilding in the Christchurch and Canterbury area have generated considerable extra work in the engineering industry in New Zealand. The work is expected to continue for another 15 years.

New Zealand Now, a website provided by Immigration New Zealand, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, lists skills shortages in the area of civil, electrical, environmental, mining, structural and transport engineering (the site allows you to click through to a list of immediate and long-term skills in demand).

Meanwhile, in Australia, the resources sector is reportedly driving demand for engineering in mining, oil and gas and energy, but there is also a healthy demand across the electrical and instrumentation, civil and mechanical engineering disciplines.

Where the wind blows in North Africa

North Africa is scaling up its wind energy capabilities with strong pockets of activity in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Those in demand include graduates with skills in infrastructure, grid connection, transmission and distribution, reports Simpson.

“These countries will be seeking skills to not only enable sustainable power supply in their own countries, but will be looking for those who will enable them to supply the export market to stimulate economic growth,” she says.

Check out the BRICs

Many of the world’s emerging markets are in need of engineers to help put in place their infrastructures to support commercial expansion. As well as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), regions of Latin America worth checking out include Mexico. According to financial services group Nomura, it could become the number one Latin American economy by 2022.

As an example of its growing influence, many automotive manufacturers have set up there, moving it into fourth position in the global auto export market. In neighbouring, Brazil of course, engineers across a number of disciplines will be required for infrastructure projects to support the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Ride the wave in the UK

The UK is the clear leader in marine energy with more wave and tidal stream devices installed than the rest of world put together.

According to Renewabl UK, the voice of marine and wind and marine, the country has created “ground-breaking” test facilities and the best marine energy resource in Europe.

At this year’s Wave and Tidal conference, Energy and Climate Change Minister Gregory Barker declared that now is the time for “the next bold steps” to be taken to make the shift from individual projects to large-scale arrays.

Two British companies have been awarded £20 million under the Government’s Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD) scheme to accelerate growth: MeyGen is developing a tidal array in Pentland Firth, Scotland, and SeaGeneration will install an array off the coast of Anglesey in Wales. With these just two areas of activity, home is certainly best for those who want to carve out a career in this growing sector and acquire skills and experience likely to be in global demand in the years to come.

To infinity and beyond

Mojave and Pasadena in California as well as New Mexico could become home to some of the most exciting aerospace and avionics engineering jobs in the future if the space tourism industry takes off.

They are all locations of Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline owned by Sir Richard Branson Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar InvestmentsPJS.

In April this year, it completed the first rocket-powered flight of its space vehicle, SpaceShip Two (SS2), which marked the start of the final phase of vehicle testing prior to commercial service from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Visit www.virgingalactic.com/careers/ for live job vacancies.

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