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Faculty and students showcased UMass Amherst’s pioneering leadership and cutting-edge technology development in wind energy research at the fourth International Offshore Wind Technical Conference and Banquet, held December 7 and 8 at Northeastern University.
The event, organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) Ocean Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division, was held as part of Offshore Wind Tech Week in Boston. It featured approximately 60 technical presentations from academia, government entities and industry representatives. The event was co-founded and chaired by UMass faculty member Krish Sharman, Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and director of the Ocean Resources & Renewable Energy laboratory. Sharman and Matthew Lackner, director of UMass Amherst’s Wind Energy Center, provided opening remarks.
The conference’s first keynote speaker was Nathan McKenzie, technology manager for offshore wind R&D for the U.S. Department of Energy, who provided information about the Floating Offshore Wind Shot, an initiative plan to drive U.S. leadership in floating offshore wind design, development and manufacturing.
The Office of Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy sponsored the opening night banquet on Dec. 7, which included special guest speakers Massachusetts Rep. Jeffrey Roy and Sen. Mike Barrett, and provided pre-recorded remarks.
Subbaswamy noted that UMass Amherst, home of the Wind Energy Center, has been a pioneer in wind energy for 50 years. “Our excellence in wind energy is driven by the exceptional caliber of our researchers,” Subbaswamy said, adding “I applaud all of you for taking time from your busy schedules to come together to exchange ideas, explore solutions and address the critically urgent global challenges of our time.”
College of Engineering Dean Sanjay Raman, in pre-recorded remarks, emphasized the substantial commitment the university has made and continues to make to the development of clean energy technologies.
“Currently we have 15 faculty and 45 graduate students and postdocs across multiple disciplines,” Raman said. “With 40 active grants totaling about $13 million to investigate new concepts in floating offshore wind, wave energy systems, turbine blade design and mooring technologies, just to name a few.”
He also highlighted the work of several Ph.D. students, such as Musaab Mohammed Ali, electrical and computer engineering, who is researching distributed energy generation such as solar, photovoltaic, wind and battery storage and their integration into the electric grid; Oyewole Abe, civil engineering, and Hannah Darling, mechanical engineering, who are focusing on offshore wind turbine system design and computational fluid dynamics; and Wind Energy Fellow Ahmed Alshuwaykh, mechanical engineering, who is researching dynamic stall and aerodynamic loads on airfoils, with an interest in floating offshore wind turbines.
Raman also spoke on the university’s commitment to creating an environment for high-caliber collaborative research.
“We plan to break ground in 2023 for our new Sustainable Engineering Laboratories building, a state-of-the-art living laboratory which will be a vibrant and interdisciplinary hub on campus to accelerate clean energy research and educate tomorrow’s sustainable engineering workforce,” he said.
A number of UMass Amherst representatives presented their research at the two-day conference:
Faculty and visiting scholars
Zack Westgate, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, “Glauconitic Sand Challenges for US Offshore Wind Development.”
Maduka Maduka, visiting scholar, “Marine Growth and Biofouling Challenges for Offshore Wind Structures – a Review.”
Tomas Lopez-Olocco, visiting scholar, “Evaluation of the Influence of Clumped Weights on Isolated Mooring Lines.”
Katherine Coughlan, civil engineering, “Evaluating the Sensitivity of Mooring Line Behavior to Marine Growth Using Openfast.”
Samer Saleh, MIE, “Estimation of Most Probable Maximum Mooring Tensions for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines in Shallow Water US East Coast.”
Doron Rose, MIE, UMass Wind Energy Fellow Alumni, “Wind-Wave Misalignment Effects on Multiline Anchor Systems for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines.”
Michael Davis, civil engineering, “Effects of Misaligned Loading on a Multiline Anchor System for Floating Offshore Wind.”
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