One of the most amazing and inspiring things about travelling for research and meeting people face to face is that you will ALWAYS learn something new; whether it be academic, cultural or commercial. That was entirely the case in meeting Bryson, Helen, Patrick as well as other faculty members at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. I traveled to the University last week to give a talk to a number of interested faculty and grad students. With a strong background in numerical ocean modelling and analysis of the ocean climate at Uvic, it wasn’t long before we realized a lot of common ground. The presentation and ensuing discussion brought up all manner of points related to the future of the wave energy industry, with some great insights all around. The faculty there were also keen to show me some of their latest research, which proved as fascinating as it was fortunate, and I’m sure some collaborative work will be in store in future.
The talk was a discussion of the foundational work of my thesis; the examination of the Killard Point site in Co. Clare as part of the WestWave project being a central focus. It also detailed the challenges that are faced in accurately characterising ocean energy sites, and in determining the energy production that can come from these seas in a reliable way; something that I believe will be crucial in wave energy technology making its way from prototype to full commercial deployment. The slides for the presentation, entitled “Metocean analysis and Machine Learning for improved estimates of energy production in WECs.” can be found below.
The University of Victoria is part of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre (NNMREC) along with Oregon State University, University of Washington (Which I hope to visit in spring), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Uvic’s unique campus is encircled by a 4km ring, and it sits just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Cadboro bay.
I also got the opportunity to explore some of Victoria and its innumerable (ok – 900) restaurants, shared amongst the roughly 80,000 inhabitants. There was some phenomenal food on offer! In the weekend that followed, I squeezed in a visit to Vancouver and had a brief stop in Seattle on the way back to Corvallis. I’ll leave you with some gratuitous footage and pictures of those!