Six of the UK’s top engineering research students – aiming to lead the development of offshore renewable energy technologies in the future – spent a fortnight at SAMS between 2nd and 13th of July for an Ecology Summer School.
The training provided the students with a deeper knowledge of the biology of the UK’s marine environment so that they will be able to consider the interactions marine organisms are likely to have with any renewable energy installations that will be placed into the sea.
This new understanding should inform their engineering practice in the future so they can consider environmental interactions from the outset of designing new devices.
The students, who are conducting their engineering research based at a range of sponsoring companies, hugely enjoyed their marine science module, with their spokesperson saying ‘I don’t think I am overstating to say that this module has been one of the most fun and engaging we have had as IDCOREans.’
SAMS module leader, Dr Ben Wilson said: ‘Likewise we have really enjoyed this teaching experience. We particularly valued the chance to broaden the perspectives of engineering students who are ultimately destined for the heart of the marine renewables industry. The education wasn’t unidirectional either. In discussion they taught us a thing or two about the engineering constraints facing these embryonic technologies.’
It is arguable that one of the most important issues with which we must engage is the marriage of first class science with marine renewable energy and its associated engineering skills and technologies.
SAMS is a partner in IDCORE, the Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy, which offers a four-year full-time engineering doctorate in Offshore Renewable Energy.
This is aimed at the very best EngD students. IDCORE aims to train their students to deliver world-class industrially-focussed research that will accelerate the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal-current technologies so that the UK can meet its 2020 and 2050 targets for renewable energy generating capacity.
IDCORE is a consortium of the Universities of Edinburgh, Exeter and Strathclyde, HR Wallingford and SAMS and is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Energy Technologies Institute to train 50 research engineers over an eight year period.
Once again, it’s good for Argyll to see how extensive are the scientifi, academic and industrial networks of which SAMS is so key a part.
Note: The photograph above shows the engineering students and two SAMS staff getting ready for a field trip to the Gulf of Corryvreckan. A white knuckle ride just to show them life on the wild side?