Offshore Wind Skills Academy

The University of Delaware and the Danish Energy and Climate Academy (ECA) have jointly created an Offshore Wind Skills Academy (OWSA). OWSA builds on both the ECA’s experience training over 2,000 European wind power professionals and UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, & Environment’s research and graduate education in U.S. offshore wind power.

The OWSA is targeted for professionals from traditional energy industries, supply chain companies, regulators, investors, consultants and any others who may be new to the offshore wind industry. (OWSA is not targeted to trades, vessel operators and craftsmen; training for them is being developed at the local level.)  OWSA will draw lecturers from industry experts, including project developers, original equipment manufacturers and engineers, all with European or North American experience.  The OWSA fills an important gap in the path to develop and rapidly expand this new industry in North America.

Instructors’ brief bios:

The OWSA draws on experienced wind industry professionals from Denmark and the United States who have contributed to building projects and developing the industry. The instructors listed below have taught in previous sessions.

Lars Høst Johansen, M.Sc. International Technology Planning
Lars Høst Johansen has been with the Ørsted wind department for 11 years, serving as senior WTG development specialist. Before joining Ørsted, Lars spent close to 10 years as a product engineer at Vestas.

Deniz Ozkan, Ph.D., MBA, Invenergy
Senior commercial director at Invenergy, leading the commercial strategy for project contracting, economic modelling, and project valuation. Previously worked at Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions as senior valuation lead and at Atlantic Grid Development as director of research, analysis and systems engineering focusing on energy investment, cost of electricity and system design analysis. Extensive technical knowledge and 18 years of experience in energy and power markets, utilities, RTOs, transmission planning and grid integration. Analyzed transmission and interconnection for AGD, and cost of energy projections for New York and Massachusetts.

Jordan R.P. Shoesmith, Business Development & Bid Director at Vineyard Offshore, Business Developer for Copenhagen Offshore Partners
Jordan R. P. Shoesmith has expertise in U.S. offshore wind, New England Class I REC markets, large-scale renewables, renewable energy procurement and contracting, and ISO New England-administered wholesale markets.

Stephanie McClellan, Ph.D., Executive Director and founder of Turn Forward
Stephanie McClellan founded Turn Forward, a new nonprofit organization advancing an ambitious vision for American offshore wind power that meets today’s climate, economic, equity and environmental challenges. She is a 12+ year U.S. offshore wind veteran, having held leadership roles in offshore wind across philanthropy-funded initiatives, industry and state government. She is the founder and former director of the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, which played an instrumental role in initiating the policy pipeline for offshore wind power in the U.S.

Kris Ohleth, Executive Director, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW)
Kris has been a leading member of the U.S. offshore wind sector for over 20 years, including as senior manager of stakeholder engagement at Ørsted; environmental specialist at Ecology and Environment; executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean; and director of environmental programs at Deepwater Wind. Ms. Ohleth has a master’s degree in ocean and coastal policy from the University of Rhode Island.

James Bennett, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)(retired)
Recognized both domestically and internationally as an expert on environmental review and development of natural resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OSC), Jim recently retired after 43 years of Federal service including more than seven years as the Renewable Energy Program Manager at BOEM. Under his leadership, the program managed the upsurge in Atlantic renewable energy leases, the installation of the first OCS steel-in-the-water, and the approval of the first two commercial-scale wind farms in the U.S. waters. Jim also led the Bureau’s Division of Environmental Assessment for many years. He now shares his vast experience and unique expertise with our new national offshore wind industry. He provides industry training and is currently associated with the highly ranked, full-service global business and technology consultancy Burns & McDonnel.

Richard Palmer, Vice President of Weeks Marine, Inc.
Currently serving as vice president of Weeks Marine, Inc., Richard Palmer provides project oversight and market development in the areas of offshore wind energy, tidal energy and marine pipelines, as well as leadership in strategic heavy civil and marine partnerships. He holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.

C.P. (Sandy) Butterfield, CEO of Boulder Wind Consulting
Sandy has been in wind research since 1975, starting as a graduate of University of Massachusetts’ wind energy program, co-founder and vice president of engineering at ESI. Sandy has also served as the chief engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he was leading research in all aspects of turbine technology, including drivetrain reliability; co-founder and CEO of Boulder Windpower, a direct drive manufacturer. He has served as chairman for IECTC88 responsible for IEC wind turbine standards as well as the founding chair of IECRE, IEC renewable energy certification.

Jesse Balboa, Project Manager at Ørsted Americas
Currently managing construction activities on the Ocean Wind One project off the coast of Southern New Jersey. Jesse has 17 years of offshore construction management experience where he has held various project management and government relations roles at Occidental Petroleum, Anadarko Petroleum, Allseas, Oceaneering and FMC Technologies. Jesse holds a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering from the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, and an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut. Jesse is a recovering marathoner, and being a former submariner, now enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors.”

Bonnie Ram, Director, Ram Consultancy and associate director of CReW (Center for Research in Wind, University of Delaware)
Bonnie led scientific teams and action research in environmental permitting and community engagement for governments in the U.S. and Denmark, including IEA and EERA. For 10 years, she had a leadership role working with DOI, DOE, and NREL and helped launch the nation’s offshore wind program. Now she focuses on local community benefits.

Jan Matthiesen, Director, R&D Offshore Wind, Carbon Trust
Passionate about wind energy, Jan started in the onshore sector but has got his feet wet managing all offshore wind activities at the Carbon Trust, such as the Offshore Wind Accelerator, UK’s leading program for offshore wind. He combines a good awareness of management techniques and a high level of business comprehension with a good understanding of engineering principles and the ability to grasp complex technical problems. He joined the Carbon Trust in 2010, to work on the Offshore Wind Accelerator, a ground-breaking collaborative RD&D project between the Carbon Trust and nine leading offshore wind developers. Prior to joining the Carbon Trust, Jan was Head of Onshore at Renewable UK, the wind energy industry association and accountable for all issues affecting the deployment of onshore wind energy development.

Willett Kempton, Ph.D.
Professor at the University of Delaware, and affiliated professor at Danish Technical University. He is co-founder and associate director of UD’s Center for Research in Wind. He lectures widely and publishes scientific and technical articles on offshore wind power, electric transportation, and energy analysis. He has led pioneering analysis on the U.S. offshore wind resource, transmission, low-cost deployment, marshaling ports, and state procurements to manage cost of electricity. He is also known for developing the concepts, technology and patents for using EV’s to balance grid fluctuations with “V2G” and subsequently co-founded Nuvve Corp which is commercializing this technology. Professor Kempton is co-founder and co-director of UD’s Offshore Wind Skills Academy.

John Madsen, Ph.D.
University of Delaware, associate professor and chairperson, Department of Earth Sciences, associate director of education of CReW (Center for Research in Wind). Academic research in wind energy focused on the geological and geotechnical aspects of offshore wind projects. He is also co-director of the KidWind Offshore Wind Academy funded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center providing high school teachers and students with a summer camp experience in STEM-based activities that model careers in the offshore wind industry.


For more information or questions regarding the Offshore Wind Skills Academy, please contact Rebecca Cox at

OWSA: 2024 Information


July 8 – 12, 2024 – Project Development from A to Z; 8:30 am – 1:30pm EDT

Key Topics Covered

Advanced development permitting, vessels, supply chain, deployment, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning.


$1,800. Cost includes course materials and interactive discussion with instructors and participants.


A limited number of support scholarships are available. Please contact Rebecca Cox ( to see if you qualify and to receive the discount code.


ONLINE – Participants will receive access details upon successful registration.

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