Sustainable Energy Planning and Management

Consultant at the Ministry of Climate and Environmental Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany

Consultant at the Ministry of Climate and Environmental Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany

Uwe Lewe came to Denmark to study what he couldn’t find anywhere else in Europe: The master’s programme Sustainable Energy Planning and Management because he was interested in the areas of renewable energy, techniques, management and economics, which only could be gathered and implemented in a master’s programme in Aalborg. Today he is a consultant for the energy department at the Ministry of Climate and Environmental Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

Why did you choose to study Sustainable Energy Planning and Management?  

I wanted to learn something about renewable energies, but at the same time I was neither a hardcore engineer, who wanted to design turbines nor was I interested in management only. So I was looking for a technical-analytical programme, including management and economics and the only programme I found like this in all over Europe was in Aalborg.

At a day trip to Aarhus with some friends. Aarhus is easy to reach by train from Aalborg.  

How did you experience your time at Aalborg University? 

Overall I had a great time and I learned a lot. At first I had to get used to the fact that the teachers do not really take you by the hand and tell you what you have to learn and so on. To a certain degree it is really up to you what you want to learn and what you want to dig into. Also, you don’t really need to learn facts by heart - that was definitely different during my bachelor programme in Germany. 

Heinz-Uwe Lewe
Consultant at the Ministry for Climate and Environmental Protection in North Rhine Westphalia
Year of graduating: 2016
27 years old
​Residence: Duisburg, Germany

How was it to move to Denmark coming from Germany?

In fact it was surprisingly sunny. I was prepared for storms every other day and lots of rain, but September was really charming. After a few days I already got to know a lot of fellow students, and there were lots of good events happening from the start. All in all life in Denmark is not too different from what I was used to in Germany. Other fellow students had a much more difficult time, I still feel sorry for my Spanish lads who suffered so much from the cold.

A small running race in Aalborg, where Uwe joined the team of Neas Energy.

Did you do an internship? 

Yes I did. I spend three months at Aalborg Forsyning, the local district heating company, where I joined the planning and research department. I do definitely recommend to work in a Danish company and experience the Danish working culture. It is great. But I underestimated the importance of language. Even though I knew some Danish, I had a really hard time to understand my colleagues. I am still not sure whether I could satisfy my boss with what I did. Big hint: Start with the Danish language classes as soon as possible.

How did you get your first job? 

I got my first job at the Ministry of Climate and Environmental Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia. I am working as a consultant for the energy department. I basically checked all possible job platforms online and eventually I had to send around 15 applications until the ministry invited me for an interview. I had two more competitors. We had a "normal" job interview; a role-play and we had to write an essay about an energy issue within in 40 minutes. Lucky enough, they picked me.

At the All-Energy fair in Glasgow, Scotland. Uwe and his group attended the fair as a part of their semester project.

What is your current job situation and what does it imply? 

As a consultant in the ministry you have various different tasks on your agenda. I think one of my first tasks was to write a speech for the minister, that he was about to give at a hydrogen and fuel cell conference. Then there are a lot of meetings that one has to attend and prepare for. Also, give your opinion and advice on new legal acts is something that happens quite often. And there are always a lot of documents, studies, papers etc. that you are supposed to read. I figure that you have to prioritize heavily, otherwise you get lost in articles.

What skills from your education can you use in your present job? 

My English skills are quite useful, because whenever we have a foreign delegation, they ask me whether I can give a small presentation. Germany is not the country, which is known for its English skills. In fact, it also helps that I know a bit about energy system analysis. That gives me a perspective on problems that is not too common among my colleagues. It is also helpful that I know something about district heating, but coming back to Germany made me realize how advanced Denmark is in that field. Germany is still on a completely different level.

Uwe at his part-time student job at Neas Energy in Aalborg.  He is sitting at the day-ahead operations desk of the short-term trading department.

If you need to highlight a project you have been involved in, which one should it be? 

I think that would be my first semester project at Sustainable Energy Planning and Management. We had a lot of great brainstorming, exchanging our expertise and knowledge about energy systems. I will also never forget the joy and pain of group work.