Offshore renewable energy partnership wins Research Impact Prize

Dr Joseph Burchell (second from left) accepting the award at The Impact Festival
Dr Joseph Burchell (second from left) accepting the award at The Impact Festival

Professor Markus Mueller and Dr Joseph Burchell have been awarded as joint winners for the University of Edinburgh's Research Impact Prize in the category of Sustained Partnership for their work with Mocean Energy.

Their work on modular generator technology was tailored to Mocean Energy’s design requirements and installed in their BlueX wave energy converter device, which uses a hinged raft design to generate sustainable wave energy.

This project led to a long-term partnership between the School and Mocean Energy, with further collaborations with Mocean Energy including the manufacture of two 10kW (peak 30kW) generators for BlueX, transitioning research from theoretical to practical application.

The team have celebrated successes including a 13-month sea trial of their generator in the BlueX device, an award from the Horizon EU project MEGAPTO, and the launch of CGEN Engineering, a company specialising in tailored cutting-edge electrical power take-off solutions.

The award was presented at the University's Celebrating Impact event on 30 May 2024 where awardees were joined by the Vice Principal for Research and Enterprise and saw performances from the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas.

Dr Burchell, who is Research Fellow in the School of Engineering's Institute for Energy Systems, said:

“I’m extremely proud as this award recognises our long-term collaborative efforts with Mocean Energy. The integration of our modular generator technology into the BlueX device has been nothing short of transformative, bridging the gap between long-term research and successful industry application.

"These achievements underline our commitment to advancing renewable energy technologies and highlight the importance of our partnerships. Collaborating with Mocean Energy, Fountain Design Ltd (FDL), Supply Design Ltd (SDL), and Blackfish Engineering has been instrumental in reaching these milestones.

"Together, we've not only demonstrated our generator's resilience in challenging marine environments but also established a solid foundation for future innovations and commercial ventures. This award is a testament to the effective synergy between academia and industry, showcasing how we can come together to deploy and commercialise green technology. I can’t wait to continue pushing the boundaries of generator innovation and sustainability together.”

Related links