Hailing from Norwich, England, Jules has been working with the Blades Department at FairWind since 2016.
How did you get into the industry?
I was a plasterer by trade and actually came upon rope-access work accidentally when I met one of the founders of IRATA (the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association). He convinced me to work for him in exchange for training. Then seven or eight years ago I got started in wind turbines.
What makes Blades or rope access work special?
The projects are less rigid than traditional installation projects, requiring a lot of creativity and improvisation. Each project has its own unique challenges.
For example, we had one service job in Girifalco, Italy, where the turbine nacelle was completely destroyed. To make things more complicated, this type of turbine was no longer in production and we had no way to get parts to repair it.
So we started from the ground up, making molds out of pieces of wood, so we could create the nacelle panels from scratch. This kind of “on-site engineering” is what makes blades work fun!
What is it like working with other FairWinders?
What makes FairWind unique for me is that you really feel like you stand together as a team, shoulder-to-shoulder. Sure there is a hierarchy, but here more than anywhere else I feel like we are all working together toward common goals.
Keep in mind working in blades is not a normal job – there is an element of madness to throwing yourself off a turbine, only held up by lines! But while this job attracts crazy characters, these technicians are also truly dedicated to being responsible and professional.
I heard you had been away from FairWind for a while and just came back?
Yes – my other major passion is cooking, and I wanted to become a chef. But the culinary industry is very stressful and financially demanding, which is why I decided to come back and save some money so I could open my own restaurant one day.
What kind of restaurant?
I enjoy “molecular gastronomy.” That’s creating really weird, interesting foods in ways you wouldn’t expect, such as using vapor distillers or using ingredients in unconventional ways. I’m fermenting some tofu right now and will bring it to the office so my colleagues can try.