My Time at the Net Zero Technology Centre​


By Cameron Leslie


All our xccelerators are passionate about making a difference in the transition to net zero, that's why we partner with key organisations that are aligned in their commitment to reaching this target for all our secondment experiences. Recently, Cameron had the opportunity to join the Net Zero Technology Centre on placement as a project engineer for six months. Looking back on his time with NZTC, he shares with us the lasting impact those six months will have on his future career in our latest blog.

When first presented with the opportunity to join the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) team I was enthusiastic about getting the opportunity to finally put the wealth of knowledge I had developed about the sector into action. I had always known I wanted a career in the energy transition space, playing a part in the switch towards cleaner energy sources, and working on projects within X-Academy allowed me to take my first steps towards achieving this.

Having joined X-Academy in January 2022, I started my secondment with NZTC nine months into the programme. Joining as a project engineer, I was tasked with working across two significant projects under the centre’s Offshore Energy 4.0 Programme: The Advancing Remote Operations project (ARO) and the Offshore Low Touch Energy Robotics and Antonymous Systems project (OLTER).

The abbreviations were a lifesaver!


Aiming to promote the adoption of remote operations in the offshore energy industry, the ARO project uses technologies such as remote video streaming, digital twins, handheld tablets, electrification, robotics, and more. As part of the team, my primary responsibilities included reporting and general project management protocol, specifically updating the risk register, and scoping upcoming phases. This aligns perfectly with my vision of the future, where automation, ultra-efficiency, and low-emission operations are the norm, therefore this was an incredibly enjoyable project to be a part of. ARO embodies these themes at the centre of its purpose, and it's exciting to be part of an initiative that pushes the industry towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced future.


The objective of the OLTER project is to support the commercialisation and development of robotics technology for application within the offshore energy industry.

I was responsible for creating the project execution plan, baseline the upcoming phase schedule, and developing a weekly reporting procedure. One of my highlights of working on this was gaining a comprehensive understanding of the robotics sector and how it can benefit not just the energy industry, but all industries. A significant objective of this programme is to demonstrate the suitability of these technologies for offshore applications.

My six-month secondment has provided me with invaluable experiences that will benefit my future career in the industry. During this period, I had the opportunity to visit interesting places such as the National Robotarium in Edinburgh and the National Decommissioning Centre in Aberdeenshire. These institutions showcase some of the most advanced technologies in engineering, particularly in robotics and offshore operations. Visiting these places gave me a glimpse of what could be the new norm in the industry, and I was thrilled to be a part of that experience.

My time at NZTC has been challenging but also incredibly rewarding. I enjoyed seeing how my skills fit into the projects and how they will transfer to my next opportunity.

My experience at NZTC gave me a better understanding of how much more I still need to learn, but I am looking forward to future challenges that will help me achieve that. My new goal for the year is to apply the knowledge and skills I have gained at NZTC to future work at X-Academy.

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