REMS Partners

Cranfield has a clear mission of deep business-engagement supporting highly interdisciplinary research and education. It is one of the top five research-intensive universities in the UK and has a demonstrated track record in the capacity-building of early-stage researchers through doctoral training, graduating 10% of the UK’s engineering and science MSc, PhD and EngDs. It has a world leading activity in structural integrity, risk and reliability research particularly related to the offshore applications and supporting this is an ocean laboratory with towing/wave tank facilities along with large-scale structures test rigs (up to 2.5 MN capacity) and a high performance computing platform. The Cranfield University offshore renewable energy engineering activity evolved from a sustained world-leading research presence in the offshore Oil & Gas sector for over thirty years and now covers a spectrum of applications from wave, tidal stream and wind power. Maintenance of Offshore Energy plant by optimizing design for “though life service” is another key strength of our bid via the recently awarded £5.9M EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing, led by Cranfield on “Through life engineering services”. The Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre develops large-scale net-shape manufacturing processes alongside new joining technologies. The University has unique industrial-scale structures and materials processing laboratories e.g. hyperbaric work and our world unique facility for developing joining methods at water depths of up to 2,500m.

Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science has a substantial research portfolio, including much that is directly supported by industry. As a general engineering department there are no barriers between different engineering disciplines, so much of the research is multi-disciplinary, including for wind and marine energy. Our reputation for research is sustained and outstanding. In REF2014 Oxford achieved the top 4* rating in General Engineering for overall and for impact, and finished top based on the widely adopted Grade Point Average (GPA). Our expertise in offshore wind focuses mostly on geotechnical engineering problems. We have a leading international reputation for research on foundations for offshore wind turbines (Prof Byron Byrne, Prof Guy Houlsby (Rankine Lecturer in 2014), Prof Chris Martin), building on our more general research since 1980s on offshore foundations. Our work addresses gravity bases, piled foundations, suction installed foundations, mono- and multi-footing structures as well as novel ideas including helical screw pile foundations. We have developed foundation design guidance for installation, ultimate capacity, stiffness and response under monotonic and cyclic loading. The work ranges from detailed laboratory studies, using bespoke loading rigs in Oxford, to computational studies (Prof Harvey Burd), through to field instrumentation and interpretation of field data (Prof Ross McAdam, Dr Róisín Buckley). In 2011 Prof Byrne delivered the ICE’s biennial Géotechnique Lecture on “Foundation Design for Offshore Wind Turbines” outlining the state of the art, based on Oxford research. In the period 2013 to 2018 we led the major Joint Industry funded PISA Project, which has resulted in new design methods for monopiles that support offshore wind turbines. The work involved computational studies, theoretical work and field scale testing, with the results already now applied to UK offshore wind farms by the industrial funding partners. We are currently working with Ørsted, and with support from the Royal Academy of Engineering, to develop new design methods that address cyclic loading for monopiles. Our work can be applied to wave and tidal energy applications, and to fixed or floating structures. Additional expertise is in structural dynamics (Prof Manolis Chatzis), fluid mechanics (Prof Tom Adcock, Prof Ton van den Bremer) and tidal energy (Prof Richard Willden, Dr Chris Vogel), where we have a significant on-going research effort.

The University of Strathclyde contains the largest group in the UK concerned with electrical power engineering and has one of the largest wind energy research groups in the world with over 80 Research Assistants and PhD students. In addition Strathclyde has extensive experience in offshore engineering and marine energy, specifically in marine hydrodynamics, including loading, response and survivability of offshore structures, dynamics of slender structures (including moorings), structural response and reliability and design for safety. The recent transfer of the former Cranfield Offshore Engineering team to Strathclyde has added world-leading research and teaching expertise in offshore and marine structures, risk and reliability, structural integrity including corrosion-fatigue and inspection reliability in addition to deep expertise in fixed and floating structures. The team has led the CDT-REMS and also prominent in a number of industry projects including SLIC and other projects for the ETI, Carbon Trust and ORE Catapult. The Department has world-leading expertise in floating wind hydrodynamics and risk-based structural design and integrity.