Mette Birkedal Wagner is a Chief Forecaster at DMI – Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut. She graduated from University of Copenhagen with a bachelor degree in Physics and continued her education at DMI.
Please give a short description of the work you do in your current position.
I produce and communicate warnings for severe weather and weather forecasts to different kind of consumers such as the public, the aviation sector and the authorities. The forecasts are in different time ranges, from now to medium long range, up to 7 days.
How do you use the skills you learned as a physicist or engineer in your work?
I am using my skills when I am analyzing the dynamics of the atmosphere, for instance if I have to evaluate if a warning is necessary.
What made you decide to pursue a career in the public sector?
When I finished my bachelor degree in 2002, there were not as many job opportunities as a forecaster outside the public sector as there are today.
Today, there are other opportunities in the energy sector where you can work as an energy meteorologist, or you can work as a weather presenter at DR og TV2.
Several private companies has started hiring specialist metrologists, for example companies such as Ørsted or Centrica Energy within the energy sector, where its is possible to work as energy meteorologist.
What motivated you to study physics or engineering in the first place?
The weather has always been an inspiration for me, especially the mechanics of the clouds. Being able to work with my hobby is a huge plus.
What advice would you give to young people (in particular women and minorities) who would like to pursue a career in the public industry.
Use your interest as inspiration!