Growing up in the blus­tery hills of Ver­mont, Matilda Urie never lost the propul­sion toward a career in wind farm development.

Years later, the senior mechan­ical engi­neering major is on course to accept a job building the energy-​​producing tur­bines in the peaks of Scot­land, a full-​​time posi­tion pre­vailing from a recent co-​​op assign­ment at E.ON UK in Coventry, England.

A dream come true for her, one she calls “the per­fect job,” Urie says she can’t say enough about how the com­bined forces of Northeastern’s mechan­ical engi­neering pro­gram and inter­na­tional co-​​op made it all happen.

The expe­ri­ence of working inter­na­tion­ally is every­thing to me now. It’s my job. It’s my pas­sion,” she says. “I can’t wait to get back to Scot­land to help develop clean, energy-​​producing turbines—it’s the right thing to do to pre­serve our planet.”

In her new posi­tion, much like her co-​​op duties, Urie will search the coun­try­side of the UK for poten­tial wind farm sites, gauging every­thing from the quality of wind—whether it’s con­stant and reli­able for energy pro­duc­tion, or just gusty—and putting her myriad engi­neering skills to use in the hunt. “I’ll be taking wind data to locate tur­bines where they will pro­duce the max­imum energy, which uses my fluid dynamics skills. You look, for example, at how the wind will roll over a hill, or where there’s mad tur­bu­lence caused by a land feature.”

When she com­pleted her third and final co-​​op at E.ON last year, she was in the midst of devel­oping a 19-​​turbine site just north of Inver­ness, Scot­land. Besides her engi­neering know-​​how, she also par­tic­i­pated in com­mu­nity out­reach, working to make sure people were on board for the project.

Some people say that wind farms are intru­sive,” she says. “I say they’re majestic and awe­some, and I’d be proud to live near one and know that my com­mu­nity was sup­porting the face of the future.”

Matilda Urie’s inter­na­tional travels, which include a year stay in Chile before col­lege, are charted on a map that hangs promi­nently in the living room of her family’s home in Ver­mont. Her par­ents have put pins on the map to mark the path their daughter has traveled.

She may have roamed far. But her focus has been con­stant. Prior to her last co-​​op, she worked for GE in Sch­enec­tady, NY, on steam tur­bines in 2006, and for Scot­tish­Water doing farm fea­si­bility studies in 2007.

I’ve always wanted to work with alter­na­tive energy, and this is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of engi­neering and politics—it’s the per­fect job.”