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False THE DAILY TELEGRAPH THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008* * * * * ** * * * * * | III EMILY SPEARMAN, SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER, SCOTT WILSON One of Emily Spearman’s main objectives on finishing her degree in Environmental Engineering at Nottingham University was to find a job that allowed her to travel. Her first job was with oilfield services provider Schlumberger, for which she was based on an oil rig in the North Sea. At Schlumberger, she went through a tough, intensive training, which she began with 18 others. Only half of them finished the course. “ We would have tests every day for three months, and have to get 70 per cent to pass. On top of that, there were other exams,” says the 27- year- old. She then went to work for global infrastructure provider Parsons Brinckerhoff, in environmental management and impact assessment, before joining consultancy firm Scott Wilson as a senior environmental engineer. Emily feels that her experiences on site at oil fields and rigs helped her to “ get her hands dirty” and understand the bigger picture. Since graduating in 2001, she has worked in the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Ukraine, Cyprus and the Middle East. A recent trip to Cameroon involved working with government officials to set up an emergency power station. L ooking to create portable, useable and sustainable products, Cambridge graduates Simon Daniel and Chris Wright co- founded the design company Moixa. The pair then formed Moixa Energy Holdings, as a focus for their renewable energy projects. Their first product, the USBcell, is a rechargeable AA battery that plugs into USB slots on personal computers. Now widely available on the high street, it has won a series of design awards. Daniel is a former senior manager at Accenture, where he championed the launch of new technologies and start- ups. Wright, meanwhile, worked as an architect with Foster & Partners, among others. Here, we ask them about their journey into renewable energy design. What’s the starting point when developing your ideas? Simon: Creating products that people like, that are sustainable and that can be used on a daily basis is the critical driving factor. Poor design leads to a lack of efficiency, so it’s the responsibility of design to focus on better energy use. Our approach is summed up by our name: Moixa is “ axiom” backwards, and it’s how we think about redesigning products. What inspired you to enter the renewable energy arena? Simon: We were trying to take a photo and needed some batteries for the camera, so the idea for the rechargeable battery arose out of a direct need. Many of the everyday products we use need power on the go, so we started looking at efficient ways of producing it. With regular rechargeable batteries, you have to carry a charger and plug it in. With the USBcell, everything is embedded in the product: when you are using your computer, the USB ports are a ready source of power. The USBcell recharges from the same energy source you are using. How will USBcell change the way people use energy? Chris: By making the take- up of renewables easier for the consumer, it’s not such a major decision for them to change their energy ways. Simon: Traditional batteries become rubbish after one use — or rely on extra power to recharge them. Over 15 billion batteries are made and thrown away each year. Stopping batteries from being thrown away will have a positive effect on sustainable living. If more products like ours are available, then people can make a significant difference to energy use, starting in their own homes. What made you confident that Moixa could challenge multinational design firms? Simon: Big companies are less likely to change their business models, while start- ups have the power to quickly transform ideas. The way that Skype transformed telephony, for instance, is a good example. If you work for a big company, you have to move with the flow of that organisation, whereas with a small company, you have greater control. You can also see your ideas through, from the production to the shop shelf. Chris: There are good opportunities in big businesses, but it’s insightful to grab hold of all the aspects of business on your own. For me, it was worth the risk: I can always go and get a job again. What does the future hold for Moixa Energy? Chris: We are looking into ways that solar and wind energy can power everyday appliances. We are also aiming to help households take devices off the mains grid and on to renewable sources, without making big structural changes. When installing solar panels, for instance, you practically have to take the whole roof off, at significant cost. We’re focusing on designs that are easily implemented and that make a difference straight away. Simon: We’re working on expanding into AAA battery types and mobile phones. We aim to make sure that you never need to carry a phone charger again! USBcell is available at stores nationwide, including Currys, PC World and John Lewis. For more information, visit www. moixaenergy. com CHARGED UP HAVING REINVENTED THE RECHARGEABLE BATTERY, THESE TWO PLUCKY DESIGNERS ARE NOW PLUGGING THEIR IDEAS INTO OUR HOMES. BYPENELOPE RANCE THE ENERGY ENGINEER T he world’s search for new, innovative and sustainable ways to feed the ever- growing need for energy has opened up a wealth of opportunities for graduates. A combination of factors means that the industry is currently crying out for talent, and the idea of working in a field that can have a direct effect on a sustainable environment is a powerful pull, according to Sarah Beacock, professional affairs director at the Energy Institute. “ One of the main attractions of a career in the energy industry is the sense that you are doing a worthwhile job,” says Beacock. ” Energy is crucial to our way of life, and how we produce it and use it are globally important factors in the industry, and beyond.” Dr Gary Taylor, lecturer and course director of the MSc in Sustainable Electrical Power at Brunel University, shares her view. “ A lot of people are excited about applying their knowledge to solving real problems,” he says. “ There is a real buzz to making that difference.” There is ample opportunity for graduates to become a part of the picture. As Beacock points out: “ The industry hasn’t undertaken major recruitment drives for a while but, with so many developments in this arena — in a relatively short period of time — there’s a desperate need to recruit larger numbers of people at all levels.” A dearth of graduates in the right disciplines, particularly engineering, means university leavers who have the relevant qualifications are in huge demand, according to Taylor. Beacock agrees: “ The greatest need is for technical personnel — engineering and scientific skills are most in demand and will command high rates of pay, as well as longevity and security of career. They also tend to offer the greatest opportunity for future development and career progression, often into company leadership roles. “ Any part of the renewables sector will be able to use such skills, whether it involves the development of wind turbines, crop technology for biomass, or fuel handling for nuclear power,” she says. More generic skills are also required for positions such as GRADUATE RECRUITMENT IF GLOBAL TRAVEL AND A CHANCE TO MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT SOUND GOOD TO YOU, JOIN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY, SAYS SANDRA HARRIS HIGH The Daily TelegraphPEOPLE CAREERS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY planner, analyst, project manager and consultant. Sales and health and safety professionals are also in high demand at the moment— not to mention public relations and human resources staff. Many companies operate graduate programmes that show new employees the ropes by exposing them to all aspects of the industry. Graduates will be expected to work out in the field ( which will often require overseas travel), at operations centres and on the business side of things. The learning curve is steep and graduates could be managing their own multimillion pound projects within a short period of time. Siemens recently employed two people from its graduates programme to work in its wind engineering team in Keele. This group, currently made up of six graduates, is expected to grow to 18 by 2010. “ The other work streams will offer excellent progression for graduates, but all have strict mechanical or electrical engineering requirements,” says Dan Simpson, the company’s head of human resources. The idea of making a positive difference to the environment is doubtless an attractive one but, while it is easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding renewable energy, Simpson is keen to point out that the job is anything but an easy option. “ Right now, working in the wind business is deemed very sexy,” he says. “ But in reality — as we point out to all our technicians — it’s good construction work and, of course, having a head for heights that are vital.” jobs. telegraph. co. uk/ renewables. aspx FIND JOBS IN RENEWABLES AT: ?? HOPES Dynamic duo: Chris Wright, left, and Simon Daniel of Moixa. Below, their USBcell battery ANDYPARADISE Poor design leads to a lack of efficiency, so it’s the responsibility of design to focus on better energy use

False * * * * * ** * * * * * IV| THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008 THE DAILY TELEGRAPH