Interdisciplinary Wave Energy Research with Coursework Students

The coastline of southern Australia is recognised as a world-class wave energy resource. To see this resource exploited efficiently, the University of Adelaide has partnered with Carnegie Clean Energy Ltd. (CCE), who is one of the world’s most successful wave energy companies.

CETO array

This collaboration involves undergraduate and postgraduate students, early-career researchers and established leaders across the three Schools of Mechanical Engineering (MechEng), Computer Science (CompSci), and Mathematical Science (Maths).

“For students, projects like these in collaboration with industry form an integral part of their education.”, says Dr. Markus Wagner, who is Coordinator of Renewable Energy Research at CompSci’s Optimisation and Logistics Group. He continues: “The students actively participate in our bi-weekly group meetings and write scientific articles with us, that we share with the international research community.”

Over the years, nine students from CompSci have been involved, including both coursework and research students. Currently, four coursework students are involved via their capstone projects, which are part of their Honours and Masters degrees. The students explore the use of optimisation and machine learning approaches to optimise different aspects under realistic conditions and with respect to multiple conflicting objectives. The tackled challenges range from the power take-off optimisation of individual buoys to the placement of buoys when they are deployed in large scale wave farms.

To support future joint activities, CCE and the interdisciplinary research team are preparing a joint funding proposal. The plan is to have the funding body and CCE jointly fund a full-time researcher and several PhD training positions, to provide a competitive advantage to Australia’s wave energy technology.

Dr. Boyin Ding, manager of the Wave Energy Research Group at MechEng: “The interdisciplinary collaboration across the ECMS faculty is productive and creative, which enabled many additional opportunities for student projects, publications, grants and industry-academic engagements. MechEng makes CompSci’s work more applicable. CompSci makes MechEng’s work more efficient. Neither work can be done without Maths.”

Would you like to know more?

Optimisation and Logistics: Renewable Energy Research, Group Leader: Prof. Frank Neumann <frank.neumann@adelaide.edu.au>, Coordinator of Renewable Energy Research: Dr. Markus Wagner <markus.wagner@adelaide.edu.au>

Centre for Energy Technology: Wind, Wave & Tidal Power, Group Leader: Prof. Benjamin Cazzolato <benjamin.cazzolato@adelaide.edu.au>, Manager of Wave Energy Research: Dr. Boyin Ding <boyin.ding@adelaide.edu.au>

Animation of CCE’s CETO technology:

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