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Dr Sam Weller, Jon Hardwick, Dr Tim Fox and Prof Lars Johanning

Tim Fox handed over the prize during a Renewable Energy seminar on the 12th of December. From left to right: Dr Sam Weller, Mr Jon Hardwick, Dr Tim Fox and Professor Lars Johanning. 

Exeter research wins prestigious engineering prize

Pioneering research that seeks to create new techniques to aid the selection, development and deployment of ocean energy systems has been recognised with a prestigious award.

A new study, called  Verification of a rapid mooring and foundation design tool, conducted by researchers from the University of Exeter has secured the 2017 Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) ‘Thomas Lowe Gray’ prize.

The study, which is published in the Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment, was produced by Dr Sam Weller, Jon Hardwick and Professor Lars Johanning from Exeter’s Renewable Energy department, based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall as well as authors from Sandia National Laboratories and Tension Technology International / Wave Energy Scotland.

The study focuses on the development of a new mooring and foundation (M&F) toolkit to allow offshore energy to be harvested efficiently and safely.

The research and development of the design tool was part of the DTOCEAN (Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays) project, funded from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (Grant number: 608597). 

Chair of IMechE Process Industries Division Board, and Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the Penryn campus, Dr Tim Fox, presented Dr Weller with the £250 prize money and a certificate during a Renewable Energy seminar on 12th December.

Dr Tim Fox said: “I am very pleased to have presented Sam and his co-authors with this award for their work in advancing the engineering of offshore moorings.

“The Thomas Lowe Gray Prize is awarded to the authors of an original paper of merit dealing with applications in the marine environment and their presentation of their work making a practical contribution to the industry in the form of computational design tool stood out as well deserving of the prize.”

Dr Sam Weller, Research Fellow in Renewable Energy, said: “I’m delighted that we and the project partners have received this prestigious award. The University of Exeter is leading the way in offshore energy developments, and this is just the latest example of the pioneering research that is being undertaken here.”

Date: 7 January 2019