On April 26, the Virtual Academy, the first stage of the Energy Challenge project, was launched. Its topic is “Embracing Uncertainty with 3D”.
Virtual Academy is a three-month educational online program including three study modules. In each module, experts from the partner companies give classes on various energy topics. As part of the program, participants must complete two tasks and prepare their final individual project. At the end of the Virtual Academy, the best participants will be invited to St. Petersburg for the in-person Youth Day events to be held at the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.
The project organizers from the Higher Economic School of UNECON (HES UNECON) together with partner organizations as IBC, PJSC Gazprom, Uniper, Wintershall Dea, Gasunie, EDI, OMV, Shell, ESMT Berlin, Expoforum, etc. conducted a serious expert and organizational work to prepare a new educational program.
This year more than 420 students from all over the world applied for participation in the project. 262 candidates representing 81 universities from 20 countries successfully passed the qualification test and were enrolled in the Virtual Academy. This is not the first time some students have participated in the project. Their goal is to gain knowledge and experience in the energy sector.
In the beginning, they are studying the materials of the first module on the topic of decarbonization. In three weeks, they will also have to upload their solution to the first challenge on the decarbonization of urban transport.
On April 28, project moderators Rob Weersma, director of training and development at Gazprom International Training B.V., and Pavel Metelev, deputy director of the HES UNECON, held the first introductory webinar. They introduced the students to the team working on the project, spoke about the learning process, module topics, and upcoming online meetings with experts from the partner companies. They also answered numerous questions from the students and highlighted an additional range of topics of interest to them.
Participants in the first webinar briefly introduced themselves and outlined the countries they represent: Austria, Bolivia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and many others.
One of the participants, Alexios Simintzis, who was among the top ten Energy Challenge 2020 graduates, shared his impressions: “The Energy Challenge project is a healthy competition, new knowledge and experience in the energy field and, of course, invaluable communications with other participants, experts, and top managers. I’m glad I was able to be selected for the project for the second time, and this time I intend to be at least one of the top three participants.
The Energy Challenge project develops every year and attracts more and more participants from new universities, countries, and continents. An important indicator of the quality of the project is the return of graduates from previous years, who each time receive new knowledge and the opportunity to develop their skills and implement competencies. Another important motivation for participating in the project is the creation and strengthening of professional connections with peers from all over the world, but also with top professionals from various fields of the energy industry. The project’s professional community grows every year and is constantly evolving.
We hope that this year will be equally fruitful for everyone: the organizers, the partners, and, of course, the participants themselves. There is hard work ahead of them, but also exciting opportunities for personal and professional development.
The Virtual Academy 2021 program is very intensive. Some of the webinars will be available to the public. Follow us on Instagram to get more news and updates @energyouthday.