Aura CDT conference explores the Offshore Wind Industry’s role in the Transition to Clean Energy

23 November 2022

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”.

Members of the Aura CDT Conference 2022 panel discussion sat together including Will Apps of the Crown Estate, Peter Tavner of Durham University, Jane Cooper of Renewable UK and Juergen Maier of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Panel discussion at the Aura CDT Conference 2022

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”.

Aura CDT researcher, Sarah Bee, receives her best student research presentation from Chris Briggs of Siemens Gamesa Renewable EnergyAura CDT researcher, Simon Smith, receives her best student research presentation from Pete Osborne of the AMRC at the University of Sheffield

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.”

Find out more about the conference

  • Aura CDT conference unites around the acceleration of offshore wind targets

    1 February 2024 Read more Read More
  • Aura CDT hosts net-zero skills expert

    24 January 2024 Read more Read More
  • Aura CDT students inspire the next generation of offshore wind scientists

    9 November 2023 Read more Read More
  • Aura CDT student wins best presentation at international conference

    30 October 2023 Read more Read More
  • Aura CDT partners lead new research centre to drive economic growth and sustainability

    6 October 2023 Read more Read More

View our webinar recording from 29 November
for information on our 2023 PhD Scholarships

For enquiries, contact