Programme start date: 16th September 2013
I graduated from the University of Bath with a Masters of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2011.
My sandwich course incorporated an industrial placement at technology research specialist, QinetiQ Ltd. During the year, I was a member of an engineering team developing an electrical drive transmission, which gave me an excellent insight into engineering challenges such as: increasing motor efficiency to achieve increased power to weight ratios; prevention of interference of electric converters; and laboratory testing to assess performance and survivability in extreme environments.
My Masters dissertation entitled ‘Integration of Phase Change Materials (PCM) in UK Domestic Solar Heating Systems’ researched thermal energy storage to bridge the gap between the limited availability of solar energy supply and hot water demand. My research looked into the issues surrounding the intermittent nature inherent in direct and indirect solar energy sources, giving me experience in areas such as performing resource assessments using geographic information systems, in order to construct supply/ demand models.
As a member of Engineers Without Borders, Bath, I attended specialised training programmes including an advance wind turbine course which involved designing and constructing a 1kW wind turbine using restricted resources reflecting those seen in developing countries.
What were you doing prior to this programme?
After graduating, I worked at engineering consultancy TRaC Global, a company specialising in environmental analysis and test in the power generation, oil and gas, aerospace and automotive industries. During my 2 years, I worked as a consultant engineer using industry leading computer simulation and stress analysis software to specific industry standards. I then progressed to Test Engineer to a more practical role, performing physical testing of components in dynamic as well as in climatic operating conditions.
What attracted you to studying with IDCORE?
The EngD is a fantastic opportunity to research solutions to a genuine commercial problem whilst working in a close partnership with industry. The IDCORE programme, as a collaboration of 3 highly respectable universities and being supported by professional bodies RCUK and EIT is a strong indication of the significant contributions expected within the offshore renewable energy sector.
I was attracted to the IDCORE programme as I agree with the values it stands for and to assist in its objectives to make positive changes and accelerate the deployment of offshore renewable energy technologies. The course’s multi-disciplinary nature holds the potential for me as a research engineer, to gain a diverse set of skills and prepare me for a successful career in the industry.
What attracted you to offshore renewables industry?/ What aspects of the industry do you find most inspiring, interesting or important for the future?
It is now widely accepted that anthropogenic global warming is causing significant changes to our planet. Depleting finite resources and the release of greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels is a critical issue, affecting each and every person, worldwide. I aspire to be part of the team actively tacking this genuine, global issue in a real environment, making the necessary steps to combat climate change in order to secure a sustainable future.
Commercial scale renewable energy is a relatively young field, making it a fascinating subject for engineers as it opens up interesting opportunities to develop innovative, novel solutions. The engineering challenges inherent in extreme and hostile environments make this an intense, exciting and rewarding subject to take, particularly to doctoral level.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
In the summer of 2010, I climbed the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
What ambition would you like to fulfil as a Research Engineer?
I hope the EngD will allow me to develop my skills and expertise as an engineer within the offshore renewable energy sector. My ambition is to become a specialist within the field of offshore renewable engineering and peruse a successful career as part of a research and development team overcoming the key engineering challenges of the industry. I believe achieving an EngD with the IDCORE will equip me with the advanced, industrial focussed knowledge required to help make the positive changes that are vital in creating a sustainable future.