Our next interview is with Thomas Langford, Director of Offshore Energy at NGI. With 25 years of experience, including early work in offshore wind since 1999, Thomas has seen the industry grow from a niche to a leading market.

Can you please provide some insight into your educational and professional background? 

My name is Thomas Langford. I am the Director of Offshore Energy at NGI, originally from the UK and based in Oslo Norway. I studied at the University of Manchester with an ERASMUS exchange year in Hamburg. I was very grateful for the support from the EU at that time, and how that opportunity has helped to shape my career. I have now been working in the marine and offshore industry for 25 years, and already started working with offshore wind in 1999, although it’s fair to say that things were quite different back then. From being an “interesting side project” when I started my career, offshore wind is now the dominant market for most of us working in offshore geotechnical engineering and geoscience.

How or why did you join the FRONTIErS network?

Offshore wind is still developing as an industry, and applied research remains essential to help provide scalable, cost-effective and sustainable technologies that can support is continued growth. FRONTIErS is one of the largest offshore wind research networks of its kind and provides NGI access to a wonderful research team who are working in harmony within the field of foundations to support offshore wind, which is a core part of our work. To put it simply – we couldn’t turn down this opportunity.

Have you had any prior experience with MSCA Programmes?

NGI has been involved in several MSCA programmes, for instance, in offshore geohazards and environmental engineering, but this is the most I have been involved personally.

From your perspective, what are the primary benefits of participating in an MSCA doctoral network?

The network provides a real-life incubator for researchers and industry to develop relevant solutions that we can use in practice. The network harnesses the collective power of the different institutions and partners, and all their expertise and infrastructure, to create a unique set of interconnected projects ranging from understanding of ground conditions to operational foundation performance. Furthermore, we have the added benefit of hosting smart young researchers at the start of their careers in the industry, which is incredibly exciting for us as an organisation. We hope to give them some of our experience and wisdom from our global projects and team of experts, and at the same time, we can leverage their work in NGI’s ongoing activities and associated research projects.

Looking ahead, how do you envision the evolution of the FRONTIErS network by the conclusion of the program?

Besides the obvious benefits of the research itself, we see the FRONTIErS researchers, supervisors and partners developing their technical relationships during the program – creating a strong platform for further projects and collaboration in the future. We already see natural connections between FRONTIErS and other projects (such as the MSCA POSEIDON program) where we can arrange joint workshops and share knowledge across the realms of offshore wind and the broader topics of resilience and marine geohazards. We really look forward to seeing the program develop over the next few years.

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