Who’s judging technology competing for Wave Energy Prize?

MASK basin at Carderock (Photo: EERE)

With the technology gate (TG) 3 review for the Wave Energy Prize just ahead, Tidal Energy Today is introducing you to the judges who evaluated the competing teams’ technologies in two previous TG reviews.

Wave Energy Prize, a challenge launched by the US Department of Energy (DoE) to encourage the development of game-changing wave energy conversion (WEC) devices, has revealed 9 finalist teams earlier this year.

The teams are now working to procure parts and construct their 1:20 scale wave energy converter prototypes in preparation for tank testing at Carderock this summer.

The finalists have been selected by the following panel of expert judges, bringing together years of engineering expertise in the design and construction of marine and hydrokinetic technologies, who have judged either or both of the first two technology gates of the Wave Energy Prize.


Scott BeatyScott Beatty (TG1 and TG2)

Scott Beatty of Cascadia Coast has over a decade of experimental and numerical marine systems research and development experience in both academia and industry, along with deep expertise in wave energy converter model testing. Beatty currently serves as a convener and subject matter expert for two International Electrotechnical Commission international project teams developing and maintaining technical specifications for wave energy converter performance assessment.


Frederick DriscollFrederick Driscoll (TG1)

Rick Driscoll joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in March 2010 and works as a senior engineer on the Offshore Wind and Ocean Power Systems Team. Driscoll works in the areas of offshore wind and marine hydrokinetics on computer modeling, design, testing, instrumentation, and data analysis. Before joining NREL, he was an associate professor of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where he focused on ocean energy and navy projects for more than 10 years.


Phil MichaelPhil Michael (TG 1 and TG2)

Phil Michael is Ricardo Inc.’s wave energy technical expert. While working for Ricardo-AEA in the UK, Michael was closely involved with wave power R&D since the re-opening of the UK’s wave power program and its inclusion in the UK’s New and Renewable Energy Program in 1999. In 2004, he developed the UK’s Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF), a £50 million scheme aimed at supporting small arrays of commercial-scale wave and tidal stream devices, which he managed until its closure in 2011.


Vincent NearyVincent Neary (TG1 and TG2)

Vincent Neary is the MHK Technology Lead at Sandia National Laboratories, where he manages a diverse portfolio of marine renewable energy R&D projects. Neary’s research contributions include hydrodynamic and wave modeling for tidal current, ocean current and wave resource assessments, turbulent inflow characterization to estimate power performance and dynamic loads on hydrokinetic turbines, and development of best practices for hydrokinetic energy resource assessment and environmental monitoring, amongst others.


David NewbornDavid Newborn (TG1 and TG2)

David Newborn is an ocean engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD), Naval Architecture and Engineering Department, Maritime Systems Hydromechanics branch. He has served at NSWCCD for eight years, primarily in the areas of surface and underwater towed systems, unmanned systems, and marine hydrokinetic technologies. Newborn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from FAU.


Dylan TempleDylan Temple (TG1)

Temple works at NSWCCD in the Department of Naval Architecture on hydrodynamic simulation and model testing for amphibious vehicles focusing on seakeeping and maneuvering. He earned his B.E. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College and his Ph.D. in Naval Architecture from the University of Michigan. Temple’s graduate research focused on early stage multi-disciplinary design optimization.


Robert ThresherRobert Thresher (TG1 and TG2)

Thresher, with more than 40 years of research and management experience, worked for DoE as a principal researcher to conceive and create the National Wind Technology Center, and then served as its first director. In 2008, Thresher was appointed to the position of NREL research fellow. At NREL since 1984, he serves as a strategist and spokesperson for the national research programs to develop offshore renewables, such as wind, wave, tidal and ocean current.


The winner(s) of Wave Energy Prize challenge are expected to be announced in November. The team that ranks the highest after testing the 1:20 scaled WEC device model will be awarded $1.5 million.

The second team will win an award in the amount of $500,000, and the third-placed tam will be awarded $250,000.

Source/Images: Wave Energy Prize

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