The Third Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network Forum was held in three virtual sessions during the Supergen Annual Assembly week held from 18th to 22nd January 2021, hosted by Supergen ORE ECR Co-Directors Professors Byron Byrne and Richard Willden from the University of Oxford.
Early Career Researchers Forum - Report
The ECR Network is for final year students, PDRAs and early career academics within 3 years of their first appointment, who are carrying out research aligned with the Supergen ORE Hub. At this year’s ECR Network Forum, 30 ECRs from 20 different UK institutions met to share experiences and discuss current and future research challenges faced by the offshore renewable energy industry.
Career development and pathway experiences were discussed at two of the ECR Forum sessions. Fellow ECRs who received Supergen ORE Hub awards via the ECR Researcher Fund and Flexible Funding schemes, shared their experiences on the application process and the award’s benefits to career development. Samuel Draycott (Manchester), Giovanni Rinaldi (Exeter), Rachel Nichols-Lee (Exeter) and Katherine Kwa (Southampton) presented their perspectives on receiving the ECR Research Funding Awards. Anna Young (Bath), Ajit Pillai (Exeter) and Carwyn Frost (Belfast) gave advice on research projects suitable for the Flexible Fund Scheme and presented their approach to preparing successful applications.
The ECR Co-Directors also gave presentations focusing on two areas of career development and progression, including application strategies for fellowships and approaches to developing industrial partnerships.
The ECR forum also held a workshop on floating offshore wind. Dan Kyle Spearman, Global Lead for Floating Wind at the Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) presented on the current status of floating offshore wind energy and key challenges looking forwards. This was followed by break-out sessions where ECRs discussed the near, medium and long term research challenges in this topical area and how they can target future research to contribute towards supporting these challenges.
ECR research posters were displayed in a virtual Poster Hall throughout the Supergen Annual Assembly week. Daily, 1-hour live Q&A sessions were held for ECRs to network and discuss their research with other Annual Assembly attendees. Positive feedback was received on the range of relevant research on display and the exposure this event gave the ECRs.
Rachel Nicholls-Lee from the University of Exeter won the best poster prize ‘Coupled Modelling for Dynamic Submarine Power Cables-Interface Sensitivity Analysis of Global and Local Engineering Models,’ and runners-up, Iain Fairley from Swansea University on ‘The potential and challenges of using drones to measure surface currents at tidal stream sites’ and Saeid Lotfian from the University of Strathclyde on ‘Additive manufacturing of micro-architecture composite-metal joints for renewable energy applications.’
We look forward to convening again at the next ECR Network Forum and at future Supergen ORE Hub events.
Report provided by Dr Katherine Kwa
Research Fellow in Offshore Renewable Energy, University of Southampton
Supergen ORE Hub Annual Assembly - An ECR perspective
Early Career Research community member, Dr Rachel Nicholls-Lee from the University of Exeter, with assistance from fellow community members Dr Edward Mackay, Dr Ajit Pillai, Dr Anna Young, Dr Sam Draycott, Dr Siya Jin and Dr Neda Trifonova, have written a report on the Annual Assembly from an ECR perspective. You can read the report here.