Wind & Marine Energy Systems & StructuresMeet our experts

Academic partners

The UK Wind & Marine Energy Systems & Structures Research Centre is based at Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering's Institute for Energy and Environment but it is collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and Oxford University. The centre also has close ties with the Wind Energy & Control Centre.

Bill Leithead is head of WECC.  He has led the Wind Energy research team at Strathclyde for 30 years.  He is Director of the present CDT-W&M and Chair of the Supergen Wind Hub.  He has very close links with the wind energy industry with which he has had many collaborative projects including involvement in the design of multi-MW wind turbines.  His expertise is in wind turbine and farm control systems design and wind turbine loads.

Feargal Brennan (formerly Director of Energy and Power at Cranfield University) has recently moved to UoS to lead a new University of Strathclyde Offshore Engineering Institute.  He is the Director of CDT-REMS and is Co-Director on the new Supergen ORE Hub with responsibility for offshore wind.  He has over 25 years’ experience within the offshore sector and is a leading authority on the development and assessment of offshore renewable energy.  He is the incoming UK standing committee member of the International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress leading the UK delegation of industry, academic and certification authority experts in offshore structures.

Chris Martin is a Professorial Research Fellow in geotechnical engineering at UoO, with more than 20 years’ experience in the application of plasticity theory, numerical methods and laboratory testing to support the design of offshore foundations and subsea infrastructure.  Industry sponsors from the oil and gas sector have included BP, ConocoPhillips, Technip, Petrofac, Subsea 7 and the SAFEBUCK Joint Industry Project.  His current research through CDT-REMS is focused on offshore wind turbine foundations, including EngD projects sponsored by Atkins and Fugro.

Conchúr Ó Brádaigh is Professor of Materials Engineering at UoE and the incoming Head of the School of Engineering.  Previously he was Director of the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre at University College Cork.  He is also a co-founder and Director of the university spin-out companies Éire Composites Teo and Composites Testing Laboratory Ltd., both located in Ireland and employing c. 60 people.  His research interests include manufacturing, testing and modelling of composite materials for renewable energy applications (wind and ocean energy). Industrial sponsors of his work have included Suzlon Energy, Scotrenewables Tidal Power, ÉireComposites, Toray Carbon Fibre, Airbus, Bombardier Aerospace and other companies.

Prof Athanasios Kolios is a world-leading expert on risk and reliability of offshore structures and systems.  He is a member of the board of the European Academy of Wind Energy and a member of the ISSC Offshore Renewable Energy Committee.

Alasdair McDonald is a Professor in the Institute for Energy Systems and Mechanical Engineering Discipline, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh. Models and designs powertrains and generators for offshore wind turbines.

Dr James Carroll is a Strathclyde Chancellor’s Fellow and was formerly an analyst with Vestas and alumnus of the CDT in Wind Energy Systems, the precursor of CDT-W&M.  He is expert in wind turbine powertrain reliability and the application of machine learning to condition monitoring systems.  James was an EPSRC Doctoral Prize winner, which allowed him to initiate his independent research career at Strathclyde.

Ignazio Maria Viola is a Professor at the IES and his research focus is on the fluid dynamics of unsteady turbulent flow applied to the tidal energy and yacht engineering sectors.  He has led various EPSRC and industry-funded projects on tidal turbine hydrodynamics.  Viola is currently Deputy Director of Research of the CDT-W&M.

Vengatesan Venugopal, is a Professor and Head of IES.  He has more than 20 years’ experience in ocean engineering science.  His primary research contributions are in numerical and physical modelling of ocean waves and tidal currents, wave and tidal current energy resource assessment and the analysis of wave-current interactions with fixed and floating maritime structures. He is PI of the EPSRC FlowTurb project.

Byron Byrne is Professor of Engineering Science and Ørsted/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Advanced Geotechnical Design.  He was PI for the Carbon Trust/Ørsted/Industry funded PISA project, which won the BGA’s Fleming Award for 2017.  He is the Oxford Director, and Co-I, of CDT-REMS.  He is a Co-Director on the new EPSRC Supergen ORE Hub.

Richard Willden holds an EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in tidal energy, having led fluid mechanics research for tidal and wind turbines for more than ten years.  His expertise is in multi-scale analysis and design of rotors for efficient energy extraction.  He is a Co-Director on the new EPSRC Supergen ORE Hub.

Industrial partners

The CDT is supported by an industrial advisory board made up of representatives from industrial partners. These include some of the biggest wind and marine manufacturers, developers, power system operators and consultancies in the United Kingdom and Europe. This board meets regularly to review the CDT ’s activities and research and make recommendations for its future direction.

Various industrial collaborators have been involved and have supported research projects throughout the running years of the CDT. Some of them are listed below:

  • Atkins Ltd
  • BVG Associates
  • DNV-GL
  • ETP
  • Fraunhofer IWES
  • James Fisher Marine
  • Katrick Technologies
  • Lloyds Register
  • Marine Scotland
  • Met Office
  • Nordex Windpower
  • Nova Innovation
  • ONYX InSight
  • ORE Catapult
  • Ørsted
  • Ramboll
  • RenewableUK
  • ScottishPower
  • Sennen
  • Siemens Gamesa
  • SSE
  • SubSea7
  • Vattenfall
  • Vestas
  • Wood