Head of Campus Anders Schmidt Kristensen welcomed and congratulated the graduates noting that they now stood at the beginning of a new chapter in their lives and he hoped that Aalborg University Esbjerg had prepared them well.
In her speech, Jeanette Obling, Director of Technology Solutions, Thermal Power at DONG Energy, noted that the graduates have many opportunities for career paths. They will get to work with many different, exciting challenges and contribute to societal development, and as engineers they are important drivers of and contributors to technological development. Engineers come up with ideas, design and experiment with new technologies, and fortunately, it’s no longer strange to be a geek – it’s actually pretty cool. The world is evolving faster and faster, and there is a need for engineers to develop themselves and solve some of the challenges we face.
Both Eskild Holm Nielsen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Aalborg University, and Jens Bo Holm-Nielsen, Associate Professor and Section Head in the Department of Energy Technology at Aalborg University Esbjerg, remarked on the shortage of engineers and the need for the graduates.
Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen mentioned that Denmark needs engineers, especially here in Esbjerg where the strong and dynamic offshore and energy sector hungers for engineers and graduates like those here today. According to a projection from the Confederation of Danish Industry, there will be a need for 13,500 engineers and science graduates in Denmark over the next 10 years. Jens Bo Holm-Nielsen added that the need for so many engineers is due to the fact that the engineers who started their working lives at the end of the 60s and 70s are on their way out of the workforce.
Birgit Kjærside Storm, Associate Professor and representative of the Danish Society of Engineers (IDA), also highlighted the lack of engineers noting that this will increase if there aren’t more students entering engineering programs. Birgit added: "In Southern Jutland the lack of qualified engineers is so great that the regional employment council has put engineers on the shortages list, which means that it is an area that must be addressed."
Johanne Gregersen, Chair of the Danish Association of Professional Technicians, Esbjerg Division, welcomed the graduates to the labour market with this advice: " It is not certain that the first job you get is your dream job, but if you do your best and continuously develop the job, you also develop as a person."
Peter Floor Kousgaard, representative of the Student Society at Aalborg University Esbjerg, ended the talks with: "In fact, I think Esbjerg has a completely unique study environment. We students say hello to everyone from teachers to secretaries to cleaning staff. So today we leave our second home."