Delia Warren (she/her)
I was born/grew up in: St. John's, NL
I now live in: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
I completed my training/education at: Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), Memorial University of Newfoundland (2009)
Master of Business Administration (MBA), Memorial University of Newfoundland (2019)
What I do at work
I am a renewable energy consultant at Xodus. I specialize in offshore wind energy production. Companies that are interested in renewable energy often need help or information. We help them solve their problems and learn about different aspects of this industry. Sometimes they need technical or even business-related advice. My job is to help those companies get the answers they need.
Our clients include energy companies, equipment manufacturers, government, and economic development agencies. I spend my time meeting with them, doing research and writing reports. I also travel to attend industry events, do facility tours, and give presentations.
I use my technical background in offshore engineering to understand the supply chain. A supply chain is the process by which the various parts and raw materials get to the people who need them. I also use my knowledge to help local companies get involved in offshore wind projects. At present, the offshore wind industry is just starting to grow in North America. As a result, a lot of work is in finding companies and workers to help build these massive projects. A single offshore wind turbine can be as tall as the Eiffel Tower!
I do a lot of critical thinking in my job. Clients come to us with questions or they may need help with project development work. I do research, review data, and interview stakeholders (anyone that affects or is affected by the industry). I use the information I collect to make recommendations. I take in a lot of information and break it down to make it easier to understand. This often involves using graphs or mapping tools.
I work closely with my teammates. We often split a project up into different parts so that we can work more efficiently. I don’t do much technical design work anymore. However, understanding the design and construction process is critical to being able to provide the best possible advice to our clients.
My career path is
I have always been interested in renewable energy technology. In addition, I am passionate about fighting climate change. I have known since a young age that I wanted to work with wind power, but I really didn’t know where to start. Add to this, there were few opportunity in this industry in my home province.
I enjoyed math and physics in high school. I decided to do mechanical engineering because I knew this would give me the right background to work on wind energy generators. However, I ended up doing most of my work terms in the offshore oil and gas industry. When I finished my degree, I was hired full-time as a pipeline and then subsea structural engineer. I got to work in Scotland, France, Africa and home in St. John’s, NL. I learned a lot about designing things for the offshore environment.
After a while, I wanted to be able to better manage projects and understand the economics of the energy industry better. To do this, I decided to study business and enrolled in an MBA program. In the meantime, I volunteered with non-profit organizations working in the energy transition space. While doing my MBA, I took a job as a project manager with a small renewable energy company. We were doing residential and small-scale commercial solar and onshore wind energy.
Eventually, a job in the offshore wind industry came alone. I was able to apply the experience I gained in offshore oil and gas to the offshore wind industry. I moved to Boston to make my career transition. For me, it was important always to keep working towards my dream. I’m glad I was finally able to make it a reality!
I am motivated by
I find my job fascinating and I learn something new every single day! Offshore wind turbines are very impressive pieces of machinery. They generate huge amounts of electricity using just the wind. Knowing that I am making a difference in the fight against climate change is the most exciting part of my job. Providing energy security to millions of people is also very rewarding. I love to solve problems and help people. Being able to put my experience and background to use in this way is very fulfilling. In addition, every day is different. One day I could be doing a global study on the subsea cable industry. The next I could be leading a market entry workshop for companies from Denmark.
How I affect peoples’ lives
I am helping to build a new, clean energy industry. Offshore wind will power millions of homes. It will replace carbon-intensive forms of energy generation. This means less greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. My work is helping to make sure the industry will be built out more efficiently. We help bigger companies, who have more experience in offshore wind energy, find the right place to work in the US. We also help them find partners and suppliers so that their operations run smoothly. We also work with stakeholder groups. We make sure that their concerns are addressed in the process. We also work to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and environmental justice is front of mind for project developers.
Outside of work I
Outside of work, I’m a mom to a 3 year old little girl so that keeps me really busy! I like to volunteer with climate change/energy transition focused organizations. Right now, I volunteer with the Climate Emergency Unit and have previously been very engaged in DecarbonizeNL. I really enjoy running and cycling, as well as hiking – I really miss the East Coast Trail! I also love live music, so that’s been a perk of living in Boston.
My advice to others
The hardest part of achieving any goal is defining the goal and setting a roadmap of how to get there. As with any career, my advice is to set your roadmap and then never give up. If you are determined to reach your dream, it will happen. However, don’t be surprised if your goals change or shift slightly over time.
If you want to work in renewable energy, decide the type of work you want to do. There are roles in the technical/design side. There are also roles in the advisory/decision making side. Engineering is a great pathway to getting involved, but it’s not the only one. The STEM fields are key to building our clean energy future. Setting policy and financing these projects is also important.
Finally, become an expert on your own! Read, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts. Most of what I know about offshore wind I learned on my own. When you are passionate about what you do it makes your career that much more rewarding!