Co-Director Team

Each Supergen ORE Hub partner institution is represented on our Management Board by a Co-director. They're all academic experts across a range of engineering specialties - be it in offshore wind, wave or tidal technology. Together they bring an essential perspective enabling us to fulfil our mission of providing research leadership into Offshore Renewable Energy.
Each co-director is responsible for an area of our work, and a number of them are champions and specialists for different disciplines. Find out more about our work packages and sectors.


ProfDeborahGreaves CircleProfessor Deborah Greaves OBE - Director of the Supergen ORE Hub

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Head of School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (SECaM), University of Plymouth

  • Management Group Lead
  • Sector and Area Champion for: Wave Energy
  • Work Package Lead: Management and Flexible Funding

Deborah Greaves is Head of the School of Engineering and of the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics, Professor of Ocean Engineering and Director of the COAST Laboratory at the University of Plymouth with previous appointments at Oxford, UCL and the University of Bath.

Her research interests include marine and offshore renewable energy, and physical and numerical modeling of wave-structure interaction.  She has led many national and international research projects concerning offshore renewable energy (ORE) in collaboration with industrial and academic partners and in 2017 was appointed by EPSRC as the new ORE Supergen Leader, directing the UK research programme in ORE. She recently published with Wiley an edited book on Wave and Tidal Energy (2018) and in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 2018, she was awarded an OBE for services to Marine Renewable Energy, Equalities, and Higher Education.

Read more about Professor Deborah Greaves


Professor Tim Stallard - Co-DirectorTimStalland Circle

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Professor of Offshore & Renewable Energy Engineering, University of Manchester

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Tidal and Data Management
  • Work Package Lead: Integrated Modelling Across Scales

Doctor Tim Stallard is a Reader at University of Manchester in offshore renewable energy with a particular focus on unsteady loading of systems within arrays (e.g. tidal stream systems, wave devices and wind turbines) and with interests in the assessment of economic viability.

Tim has been Principal or Co-Investigator on several major marine energy projects with net value of >£3M, including EU FP7 Equimar, the ETI PerAWaT, UK-China EPSRC-NEWTON ALLT-Tidal, ETI ReDAPT and the EPSRC Challenge project X-MED. His research also addresses floating body hydrodynamics with interests in wave energy arrays through EU FP7 WECWakes and wave device innovations EPSRC STEP-WEC.

Read more about Doctor Tim Stallard


Professor David White - Co-Director DavidWhite Circle

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Professor of Infrastructure Geotechnics, University of Southampton

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Policy
  • Work Package Lead: Sites and Conditions, and Communications and Engagement

Professor David White, at the University of Southampton, has held academic positions at the Universities of Cambridge and Western Australia and works primarily in offshore energy.

His work has attracted >£25M of funding, split between industry and competitive grants, leading to 8 best paper awards. The work has changed engineering practice for offshore infrastructure and mooring systems, with impact on industry design codes (API/ISO) and recommended practices (DNV), including recognition through 9 industry awards. His prior leadership roles include Founding Director of the Australian Research Council Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities as well as UWA’s Shell Chair of Offshore Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Read more about Professor David White


Henry Jeffrey - Co-DirectorHenryJeffrey Circle

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Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Policy and International
  • Work Package Lead: Demonstration of Scenarios

Henry Jeffrey at the University of Edinburgh is a specialist in marine energy roadmaps, action plans and strategies.

He is responsible for dissemination and within the current UK Marine programme. He holds the position of “strategy and internationalisation officer” for “Wave Energy Scotland” and chairs the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) as well as the IEA OES group for Ocean programme. He is the only academic member of the ETI and Renewable UK Marine Strategy Groups. His international collaboration includes Canada, the US, Chile, and Mexico. He is lead of several European marine energy projects including DTOcean.

Read more about Henry Jeffrey


Professor Richard Willden - Co-DirectorRichardWillden Circle

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Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Early Career Researchers
  • Work Package Lead: Early Career Researcher Development

Professor Richard Willden holds an EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in tidal stream energy at the University of Oxford, where he has led fluid mechanics research for tidal and wind turbines for more than ten years (>£5M funded research).

His expertise is in multi-scale analysis and design of rotors for efficient energy extraction, including the development of energy extraction limits for turbine arrays that exploit constructive interference effects. His fellowship, “Tidal Stream Energy – Designing for Performance” is developing rotor array design and supporting methodologies for next-generation high-performance tidal arrays, including large scale laboratory demonstration tests of advanced multi-rotor systems. In wind energy he works with energy utilities to understand and model wake and blockage based wind turbine interactional effects. He was the Oxford Principal Investigator for the ETI PerAWaT project and has involvement in various EPSRC ORE projects.

Professor Willden shares hub duties with Professor Byron Byrne (also of University of Oxford).

Read more about Professor Richard Willden


Professor James Gilbert - Co-DirectorJimGilbert Circle

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Professor of Engineering, University of Hull

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Work Package Lead: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Professor James Gilbert has extensive research experience in sensing, modelling and control systems research and in the development of innovative manufacturing processes. He is the Research, Development and Innovation lead for Aura, a collaboration between Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Ørsted, University of Sheffield, Durham University and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. He is Hull PI on the £7.6M EPSRC Prosperity Partnership ‘A New Partnership in Offshore Wind’. He leads industry interaction for the EPSRC/NERC funded CDT in Offshore Wind and the Environment and is UoH lead for the Operations and Maintenance Centre of Excellence, a £2M collaboration between UoH and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Read more about Professor James Gilbert


Doctor Philipp Thies - Co-DirectorPhilippThies Circle

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Associate Professor Renewable Energy - Offshore Reliability, University of Exeter

Dr Philipp Thies is an Associate Professor Renewable Energy at the University of Exeter with research interests in offshore reliability engineering including component reliability testing, field load evaluation for ORE and statistical reliability methods.

He is Principal Investigator for the Innovate UK project for “Dynamic Load Reduction and Station Keeping Mooring System for Floating Offshore Wind” and has led a Newton Fund UK-China project on novel mooring systems. He acts as Co-Investigator for a GCRF UK-China project, an Innovate UK project and UKCMER. He is responsible for mooring risk assessment in the EU H2020 OPERA project, test activities in the EU H2020 Marinet2 programme and contributes to the IDCORE doctoral programme.

Read more about Doctor Philipp Thies


Professor Beth Scott - Co-DirectorBethScott Circle

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Professor in Marine Ecology, University of Aberdeen

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Environment

Professor Beth Scott is a Professor in Marine Ecology.  She conducts multi-disciplinary research using her expertise in marine ecology, oceanography and fisheries sciences.

Her research identifies general rules in bio-physical oceanographic processes that lead to the creation of hotspots of biodiversity and predator-prey activity. Specifically, her research group defines biological and physical variables that provide the limited, patchy locations and conditions where energy is transferred across trophic levels in marine food webs. Her research team using approaches ranging from the collection and use of fine scale (second by second) information throughout the water column as well as the analysis of large scale (100s or km) long term data sets on spatial and population dynamics. Both scales of information are also used within simulation modeling methods which are agent based. Recently her research portfolio has been focused on the understanding of the effects of marine renewable energy systems on multi-trophic interactions and the methods for co-developing a Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) decision-support system with a range of stakeholders (industry, government, NGOs, etc.) to better incorporate ecosystem service knowledge and values into effective policies.

Read more about Professor Beth Scott


Professor Byron Byrne - Co-DirectorByronByrne Circle

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Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Early Career Researchers
  • Work Package Lead: Early Career Researcher Development

Professor Byron Byrne is Professor of Engineering Science and Ørsted / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Advanced Geotechnical Design at the University of Oxford.

He leads on research into the geotechnical engineering for offshore wind and other renewable energy structures. He was Principal Investigator for the Carbon Trust / Ørsted / Industry funded PISA project (£4.0M, 2013-2018), which won the BGA’s Fleming Award for 2017, for delivering new design methods for large diameter offshore wind turbine monopiles. He currently leads on the Oxford–Ørsted Framework research project (2018-2023) on cyclic loading for offshore wind foundations. He is Co-Investigator on the EPSRC ALPACA Project (~£1.6M), and also leads on a number of other smaller industry / EPSRC funded projects. He is the Oxford Director, and Co-Investigator, of the Cranfield / Oxford / Strathclyde EPSRC CDT for Renewable Energy Marine Structures (£3.98M), and a Co-Investigator on the new Strathclyde / Oxford / Edinburgh EPSRC CDT for Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures. 

Professor Byrne shares hub duties with Professor Richard Willden (also of University of Oxford).

Read more about Professor Byron Byrne


Professor Xiaowei Zhao - Co-DirectorXiaoweiZhao Circle

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Professor of Control Engineering and an EPSRC Fellow at the School of Engineering, University of Warwick

Professor Xiaowei Zhao obtained his PhD degree in Control Theory from Imperial College London in 2010. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford for three years. After that he joined the University of Warwick in 2013, where he became a professor in 2018. Currently he holds over £2M grants on ORE systems and microgrid from 6 projects (total value: over £12M) sponsored by EPSRC, H2020 and National Grid. Expertise in Control of wind/tidal turbines/farms; grid integration of renewable energy; microgrid; control of fluid-structure interaction applied to large & flexible wind turbines, very flexible aircraft, and long-span suspension bridges; and control of coupled infinite-dimensional systems.

Read more about Professor Xiaowei Zhao


Professor Feargal Brennan - Co-DirectorFeargalBrennan Circle

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Professor of Offshore Engineering, University of Strathclyde

  • Sector and Area Champion for: Offshore Wind
  • Work Package Lead: Floating Offshore Renewable Energy Structures

Professor Feargal Brennan is Professor of Offshore Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and is currently the Director of the University of Strathclyde Offshore Engineering Institute and is the James Blyth Chair of Offshore Engineering at the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering.

His research interests are in structural integrity of offshore structures for wind, wave and tidal power, mainly funded by industry (e.g. the Structural Life-Cycle Industry Collaboration - SLIC). He has been directly responsible for winning and delivery of >£20m in engineering research funding (£11.6m as Principal Investigator). He is a Co-Investigator of both Supergen Marine and Supergen Wind hubs and the centre for Advanced Materials for Renewable Energy Generation.  He is a member of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Research Advisory Board amongst many external appointments. 

Read more about Feargal Brennan