Tom Summers


Research Theme: 

  • Offshore Renewable Energy


Tom is an EngD student with the Industrial CDT for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE).

Tom graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and gained experience of working in both academia and the aerospace industry during his studies. He gained further experience working in academia at the University of Bristol's Advanced Composite Institute, where Tom worked as a research collaborator for a year after graduating, before training to be a teacher through the Teach First programme in South Wales.

Tom began the IDCORE programme in September 2021 and is sponsored by Cornwall-based tidal developer HydroWing.

Academic Qualifications: 



Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

Student member of the IMAREST


Tom was a secondary school teacher for four years prior to starting the IDCORE programme.

Research Interests: 

The IDCORE programme seeks to promote the development of new techniques and technologies to design, build, install, operate and maintain devices in extreme environments. HydroWing are developing a robust and modular tidal energy device which is designed to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX, driving down the LCOE.

The HydroWing tidal energy device currently employs turbines with fixed-pitch blades. While these have proved to be highly reliable compared to traditional active-pitch turbines, the loads on fixed-pitch blades in high flow speeds are higher than those on pitching blades. This necessitates the use of smaller diameter rotors, which capture less power in low-flow conditions. The focus of Tom's research is the development of a novel and reliable passive-pitch mechanism which reduces the loads on the rotor in high-flow conditions so that larger diameter rotors can be installed, increasing power capture.