Dan Engfer joined OCA earlier in 2022 and after 3 months as a Senior Consultant as part of the US team, he shares about his academic background and experience in both space physics and offshore wind.
Since I was a child, I dreamed of exploring and understanding the world around me and beyond. To start this off in high school, I worked as a narrator at the Central Connecticut State University planetarium and while studying for my undergraduate physics degree at Dickinson College, I ran the campus telescope during public astronomy viewings. My initial interest in space culminated with a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas and I then started my career at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and continued it at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Highlights included working on the Hubble Space Telescope and investigating space weather.
Later, my focus turned downward toward the Earth’s oceans, so I enrolled at the University of Houston and completed a master’s degree in geophysics. This led to a role working on geophysical surveys to detect natural hydrocarbon seeps from the ocean floor and as I’d been interested in green energy for years, I then transitioned to work on offshore wind projects.
After working on many such projects, I decided to leverage my offshore expertise into consulting. I wanted to serve and advise the companies that are building the infrastructure to make wind power generation a viable, clean-energy alternative to fossil fuels, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. OCA provided me with the opportunity to do just that!
I join the OCA team as a Senior Consultant with over 10 years of international and domestic geophysical and geotechnical survey and management expertise, having worked on numerous offshore projects in Malaysia and Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, and the coastal waters of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. As part of these project teams, I have held several roles, including lead geoscientist, quality control manager, client liaison, data processor, data acquisition specialist and geoscience technician. In the future, I hope to expand my consulting expertise into floating wind and AUV work.
When I joined OCA, my colleagues warmly welcomed me with a sincere offer to assist me with anything I needed to settle in. I love that OCA allows me to apply my skillset to managing the day-to-day activities on important projects and gives me the scope to apply my own creativity and problem-solving to their tasks. Other aspects of working at OCA that I find beneficial are the flexibility around working hours and the opportunity to share constructive criticism and feedback. OCA realizes that I have a life outside of work, and I am encouraged to take time off as needed to stay refreshed and productive.
In short, OCA has allowed me the freedom to expand my industry expertise on green projects that will really make a difference to humanity in the future. My strong recommendation to anyone looking to get into the offshore wind industry is to find a company that allows you to do the same.