Project manager at Omexom Renewable Energies Offshore in Germany, Lennart Reepschläger manages innovative programmes aimed at optimising offshore wind turbine inspection and operation of windfarms in general. The organisational system at VINCI Energies, which encourages autonomy, enables him to have a tangible and rapid impact.
Lennart Reepschläger has no shortage of projects in his pipeline, “OBSERVAERO”, “Mini-ROV” and “Sound Scanning” to name just a few. Project manager at Omexom Renewable Energies Offshore in Oldenburg near Bremen in northern Germany, this 28-year-old engineer is working on four projects designed to optimise the inspection and operation of offshore wind turbines.
OBSERVAERO is a service for inspecting rotor blades via drone and assessing the results with AI support; a Mini-ROV is an underwater robot that checks the condition of wind turbine foundations; and Sound Scanning is an acoustic inspection method for localization and assessment of acoustic phenomenons. He also manages a fourth programme that focuses on rotor blade repair. All should be operational in 2023.
“I manage my projects independently. That means I can be flexible and adapt quickly, which is’ really motivating.”
“In addition to these projects, I’m involved in the strategic development of our new business unit and the sales activities of our solutions and services,” stresses Lennart Reepschläger. Omexom Renewable Energies Offshore is a new entity resulting from the acquisition by VINCI Energies in late 2020 of EWE Offshore Service & Solutions – the subsidiary of German utility EWE – specialising in the development, operation and maintenance of offshore facility projects.
“I started working at EWE Offshore Service & Solutions in 2013 first on a working student contract then as an employee from 2016,” explains Lennart Reepschläger. “Since the company’s integration into VINCI Energies, my work has changed a lot. It is much more varied and allows me to interact with different kinds of people, whether employees within the company or in other VINCI subsidiaries, clients or subcontractors.”
Contributing to the energy transition
What the young project manager likes above all in his work is the opportunity to have a tangible and rapid impact on his projects. “Developing automated solutions based on robots and AI, for example, not only helps improve the inspection of facilities, well beyond the abilities of humans, but also contributes towards the energy transition. For example: The use of small underwater robots is much less expensive and replaces the need for conventional systems requiring huge survey vessels, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in offshore wind farm operation.”
Lennart Reepschläger’s commitment to environmental protection goes back to his school days. “I was in my last year at secondary school when the Fukushima nuclear disaster happened in 2011,” he recalls. “At the time, there was a lot of talk about the future of energy and the need to act. For someone like me who was interested in physics and technology, it seemed only natural to focus my career on jobs directly related to the energy transition.”
This is how he came to join EWE during his engineering studies. He talks enthusiastically of this first professional experience: “From the word go, I was able to participate in the development and construction of an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Installing enormous turbines in the open sea and seeing them in operation on site was the most amazing experience for me.”
Transforming, developing, deploying
Today at Omexom Renewable Energies Offshore, he intends to work on further high-impact projects, of the same scale or smaller. “The main thing is to help move things forward!” he says. And he firmly believes that the organisational system and operating method at VINCI Energies will strongly facilitate this.
“VINCI Energies business units are highly autonomous,” he notes. “Our unit can implement its own strategy with a great deal of freedom and in full confidence with VINCI Energies. Even at my level of project manager, I’m encouraged to think and act as an entrepreneur. I manage my projects independently. That means I can be flexible and adapt quickly depending on needs. That’s really motivating.”
Lennart Reepschläger considers the support from other VINCI group entities a real asset. “With the OBSERVAERO project for instance, I’ve been receiving valuable support for a year now from units like the Omexom Brand Team, LEONARD [VINCI’s innovation platform], ENERGIZE [a VINCI Energies programme aimed at accelerating entrepreneurial projects] and Digitalschmiede [a VINCI Energies centre for innovation in Germany],“ he points out. “They help me turn an idea into a project, to develop a platform and to deploy it in market. I also collaborate with Axians for the user interface of the OBSERVAERO online platform and VIA IMC [VINCI Construction] for the AI engine driving the OBSERVAERO online assessment.”
When it comes to his future, Lennart Reepschläger now more than ever sees himself continuing down the renewable energy path. “The needed growth in the sector offers vast opportunities.”
Photo credit: ©Marc Wiegelmann