Jan 17, 2024

Employee Spotlight: Darren Musgrave, Mechanical Lead

Through our Employee Spotlight feature, we're thrilled to introduce Darren Musgrave! Currently based at the Port of Dundee, Darren holds the crucial position of Mechanical Lead and is part of the team fulfilling a contract with Tier 1 contractor Siemens Gamesa to pre-assemble turbine towers for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm.

Read the below Q&A with Darren to discover more about his role at Global Wind Projects. Learn about his typical day, favourite aspects of the role, common misconceptions, and professional accomplishments.

What’s your work history to date?

I began my professional journey by dedicating twenty years of my career to working as a mechanic, approximately seven of which were spent at Atlas Autoservice. From there, I pursued a position in the emergency medical services, working as an Emergency Medical Technician at Elite EMS UK in Tamworth.

My pivot towards renewable energy commenced in 2019 when I joined Windhoist in Ireland as a Wind Turbine Technician. I followed the typical progression, starting as a ground technician and advancing to work on turbine erection. I led the cable pull team for Nysäter 1 and 2 projects in Sweden, overseeing the installation of high-voltage cables for over 100 turbines. Subsequently, I supervised both mechanical and electrical finishing works in Finland.

Immersing myself in the intricacies of wind turbine mechanics, maintenance, and troubleshooting, gaining invaluable hands-on experience, lead me to Global Wind Projects in late 2022.

What’s your current role at GWP and can you describe a typical working day?

My current role with GWP is as a Mechanical Lead / Supervisor.

The day begins in the morning with work briefings conducted by HSE and Management. These briefings inform everyone about the day's plans and any health and safety alerts.

Following the briefings, the team lead assigns tasks to be completed, such as generator alignments, mechanical works, painting, walkdowns, or snagging, to the team.

The objective is to collaborate with the rest of the teams to ensure the tower is completed to a high standard and ready for handover to the client.

What’s your favourite, or the most exciting part of your job?

My favourite aspect of the role is guiding less experienced team members in learning new aspects of the job and witnessing their career progression.

The most satisfying part of my job is working with a great team and getting towers handed over in time with minimal issues.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your job?

People unfamiliar with the wind industry often assume that we have a handy, high paid job and get to travel a lot.

However, the pay scale is more to do with the hours we work rather, than high hourly wages. On average, offshore and pre-assembly work would require about 80 hours a week, while onshore work averages around 65 hours.

While the opportunity to travel is a benefit, the rotational nature of the job often means missing out on important occasions such as friends' or family members' birthdays.

At the moment, I am based at the Port of Dundee. GWP secured a contract with Tier 1 contractor Siemens Gamesa this time last year to pre-assembling 54 offshore wind turbine towers for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, of which the project is now approaching the final stages.

Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

I stumbled into the wind industry by chance. As mentioned in my work history, for most of my life I worked as a mechanic, with the years before entering the wind industry in 2019 spent with volunteer rescue services and frontline ambulance.

During a break, a family member sent me a recruitment ad for the wind industry. I decided to give it a go, and I haven't looked back since!

Can you provide details of a professional accomplishment at GWP that you are proud of?

Ascending to the role of Mechanical Lead has been a great personal achievement, but I've also ran first aid and rescue drills in collaboration with our HSE representatives.

Getting everyone onsite involved has been met with tremendous praise from both our team members and clients. I'd class that as my favourite accomplishment!

Employee Spotlight: Darren Musgrave, Mechanical Lead