I am a research associate with Heriot-Watt University, based at the Orkney Campus in the far north of Scotland but currently living further south. My research interests centre around marine renewable energy and the use of regional-scale hydrodynamic modelling to support human activities, understand their effects, and improve planning and policymaking. My thesis covered the use of such models to predict both the tidal power available from a given location, and the effects of removing that energy from the flow.
Orkney is a remarkable place to do work in this area. As well as having some of the best tidal energy sites in the world, and hosting the European Marine Energy Test Centre, the archipelago is a net exporter of electricity. Most of this comes from the wind, with a little help from prototype tidal devices; nearly all is carbon-free.
I’ve recently done some work with the University of Edinburgh on spectral wave modelling of the effects of wave energy convertors.
In 2017/18 I’m spending a year on placement with Marine Scotland Science, developing new hydrodynamic models primarily for applications in aquaculture. Opinions expressed on this site and elsewhere remain my own.
While living in Orkney I was a director of the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum, which works to promote the use of renewable energy in Orkney. I support the Software Carpentry organisation, which teaches basic software development skills to academics to improve the reproducibility of computational research, and am currently on that organisation’s Code of Conduct committee. I am on the organising committee of the annual Orkney Storytelling Festival.