The annual Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) conference took place on 1-2 November 2022 at the Aura Innovation Centre with over 85 attendees on each day. The programme brought together exciting keynote speakers from the offshore wind industry with opportunities to hear from leading academic experts and rising stars in PhD research around the theme of “Transitioning to clean energy”.
Day one featured presentations from keynote speaker, Juergen Maier, the Ex-Chief Executive of Siemens UK, as well as Will Apps of the Crown Estate and Ian Livingston of Equinor. They were joined by Jane Cooper from RenewableUK for a lively panel discussion, with great questions from the delegates. Day two featured keynote speaker, Ross Wigg from Vercity Consultancy and presentations from John Harris of HR Wallingford, Chris Briggs of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Louis Dean of ViSR.
Across both days of the conference, delegates had the opportunity to gain insight into cutting-edge research from academics and PhD researchers into the challenges facing the offshore wind industry. Presentations were made by Dr Rodney Forster, Prof Jim Gilbert, Dr Krysia Mazik and Dr Agota Mockute, University of Hull; Dr Bezhad Kazemtabrizi of Durham University; and Prof David Stone of University of Sheffield.
The conference benefits from the generous support of Aura CDT industry partners. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy sponsored the outstanding PhD research presentation award, which was won by Sarah Bee for “Automating Feature Selection with Multi-task Learning”. Ørsted sponsored the Student Poster Prize, which was won by Simon Smith for his poster examining “Can Population-based modelling improve Structural Health Monitoring”.
Reflecting the Aura CDT’s commitment to driving a sustainable future for the offshore wind industry, the conference session covered varied themes including Grid Integration – Transmitting the Energy Revolution; Innovations in energy storage; Co-Location: Sharing in Success; Manufacturing: Infusing the Next Generation and Marine Life in a Changing World. Aura CDT students and invited PhD researcher from other institutions had the opportunity to share their research and answer questions from the delegates.
Dr Rob Dorrell, Director of the Aura CDT at the University of Hull said:
“Rapid growth of offshore wind energy is central to the UK’s ambitious Build Back Greener strategy supporting Net-Zero 2050. Developing the technology and the talent for the sustainable delivery of offshore wind is a key industrial and environmental challenge. Here Aura, and the Humber region, is leading the way globally. The conference is a great showcase for our state-of-the-art research, development and innovation supporting UK’s aspirations for offshore wind energy.”
The Aura CDT students have taken an active role in pulling together the programme for the conference, as well as developing the lively interactive “discussion stations” session, which is dedicated to exploring and discussing different facets of offshore wind energy.
Dr Danielle Smith, Programme Manager for the Aura CDT at the University of Hull said:
“The Aura CDT is training our future leaders and leading in sustainable innovation for offshore wind energy. Last year we launched our first Aura CDT conference and we were inspired by the energy and innovative approach of our researchers to developing sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the sector. In keeping with our growing Centre, this year we’ve shared more of these solutions as we explore the vital role offshore wind plays in the green innovation revolution.”
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