After more than 2-years since the last face-to-face REMS event, a workshop, combined with a Christmas dinner, took place in early December at St Catherine’s College in Oxford. This was a great opportunity to catch up with the other REMS students from across the country and find out how their research and lives had progressed during the pandemic.

The first day started off with an enjoyable lunch at the college, followed by two sessions of presentations given by the REMS students. The first session, chaired by Prof. Ali Mehmanparast (Cranfield University), focussed on the reliability assessment and monitoring of offshore wind turbine support structures. The second session, chaired by Prof. Byron Byrne (Oxford University), focussed on geotechnical projects which included buckling of foundations during installation, structural monitoring, and student’s contributions towards the PICASO project, a project aimed at improving cyclic loading design methods for offshore wind turbine foundations. Each session was followed up by a discussion focused on some of the challenges the students faced and how their work could be fed into the industry. The day was capped off with a fantastic 4-course dinner at the College, followed by drinks at the bar. Once again, St Catherine’s never disappoints.

The second day consisted of the final session of presentations by the students, chaired by Prof. Feargal Brennan (Strathclyde University), followed by a general discussion. The presentations covered an array of topics which ranged from, novel tidal power devices, floating offshore wind turbines, structural integrity assessment of offshore structures, and machine learning concepts. The general discussion which followed, allowed the students to talk over the future of the offshore wind industry and the challenges it faces over the next 5 to 20 years. One of the other key points raised involved the future of the REMS-CDT, as the final batch of students are due to finish in the coming 12-18 months. With this in mind, the discussions were incredibly insightful as some of us prepare to enter the real world, where many challenges and opportunities lie ahead. The workshop concluded with a college lunch before some of the students travelled back to their respective universities.

While the past two years have been difficult for many of us, coming together for this event has reminded us the importance of being able to network, collaborate, and learn from each other, one of the many advantages with being a part of the REMS community. There is clearly an appetite for similar events to be hosted in the future with the hopes of having industry partners and past REMS students involved. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and I am sure many of us are looking forward to the next one!