Meet Antonio Garcia Gomez, Offshore Wind Project Specialist
When he’s not forming human towers or jumping out of airplanes, Antonio Garcia Gomez spends his 9-5 as Offshore Wind Project Specialist for the Caledonia Offshore Wind Farm.
Antonio tells us about his experience moving from city to city, how this influenced his decision to pursue a career in energy, and the main highlights of working on Caledonia so far.
Tell us about your career journey so far.
As a child, I grew up in a small mountain town in Madrid. At eight years old, my father was relocated for work, and my family moved to Paris. Since then, I have lived in a different country every two years, learning and adapting to the culture of each. I spent 2005-2007 in France, 2007-2009 in Spain, 2009-2011 in Mumbai, 2011-2013 in Ghana, 2013-2015 back in Spain, the list goes on.
This gave me a global perspective, a multicultural background and an appreciation of the disadvantages different countries face. This made me want to pursue a career that would have a positive impact on communities around the world.
I started my career at the University of Huddersfield studying Energy Engineering. I graduated with a first-class Hons degree and my dissertation on ‘Design of Solar water wells for Communities in Africa’ was awarded the IMechE Western project award for the best project focused on aiding third world countries.
I continued my studies with an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems at University of Edinburgh, where I learned about renewable energy generation and the energy market.
After university I worked for a small company based in Lesotho, South Africa, which specialised in micro-grid solar project installation for villages in the country. I then moved to a Spanish energy developer where I helped develop three onshore substations for a project in Conakry, Guinea.
In 2021, I joined the Ocean Winds graduate programme, during which I worked on the BC-WIND project in Poland before moving onto my current role working on the Caledonia project.
Did you expect your career to take the path it did?
Initially, I wanted to be an architect, building homes in the many countries I’d lived in to help improve the lives of its residents. This changed after my school physics professor explained energy and how it’s converted. After I was taught this, I decided that to change the world for the better, my best option would be entering a field where I could help create accessible energy for all.
I went to university with the hope of entering the renewables sector but didn’t expect to join the offshore wind market. At the start of my career, I wanted to support the solar energy market in Third World countries, but ultimately decided I could make a bigger impact through larger projects.
After learning about Ocean Winds, I was impressed at its track record and knew I wanted to be part of the company’s growth. Learning that the Moray East Offshore Wind Project, which I’d read about at university, was part of Ocean Winds’ portfolio confirmed my decision to join the programme. I haven’t looked back since.
Tell us about your role and the main highlights of working on Caledonia.
As an Offshore Wind Project Specialist, I work closely with Senior Designer, John McIntyre, to manage the design of all offshore transmission assets and generation of the wind farm.
What excites me most about my role is the variety of tasks I get to work on. One week I can be focused on floating substructures, and the next I’m looking at transport and installation. This means I’m always learning.
The main highlight of working on Caledonia has to be the team. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and are always happy to help. I have been invited to join colleagues for stakeholder engagement meetings, site visits and to see the operation and maintenance base in Fraserburgh for Moray East, which are great learning experiences.
What would be your advice to others looking to pursue a career in offshore wind?
Offshore wind is a growing market which requires a variety of disciplines. There is no expectation for you to be an industry expert – skills learned in other sectors can be transferrable. As long as you have a drive to learn, a passion for renewables, and can be adaptable and flexible to challenges, you have the potential to do well in this field.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I have always loved sports and try a new activity in each city I live in. In Barcelona, I joined the Castellers, where we formed human towers. In Edinburgh, I got my skydiving student license and learned to jump out of a plane alone, and currently in Madrid I’m taking boxing lessons.