Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes identifying the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry. Solving these challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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People, Research & Innovation

Dr Graham Smith

Dr Graham Smith is a R&D Programmes Manager at the ORE Catapult, where Graham manages research programmes and academic engagement including responsibility for a multi-million pounds research programme with GE Renewable Energy.

With a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Durham University and a PhD in Materials Science from St. Andrews University, and over ten years in professional roles, Graham has a wide range of experience in research, product development and project management. Which include successfully developed an application laboratory in Tokyo, Japan and a three-year Shanghai, China developing concepts from labs into successful commercial products.

People, Research & Innovation

Anna Southall

Anna is an Academic Engagement Manager in the Applied Research Team. She is responsible for managing the university research collaborations including ORE Catapult’s Research Hubs programme. We aim to deliver research programmes that address key industrial challenges.

Anna is a Chartered Engineer who has been working in the Energy industry since 2008. Previous experience includes working as a Turbine Engineer delivering mechanical and performance support for a fleet of thermal power stations, as an research engineer undertaking aerodynamic and thermodynamic analysis, and most recently performance testing wave and tidal energy converters at the European Marine Energy Centre. This involved developing bespoke test programmes for international clients with novel machines and contributing as a UK expert in IEC standards committees for the marine energy sector. Throughout her roles Anna has focused on quantifying and articulating how technology can make power generation more efficient and sustainable.

Anna has two master’s degrees, an MEng in Aerospace and Aerothermal Engineering from University of Cambridge, and an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh. Anna joined ORE Catapult in January 2020 and is strengthening the critical link between industry and academia to maximise the outcomes from UK research. These collaborations drive innovation and focus research talent in critical areas.


Dr Simone Stuart-Cole

Dr Simone Stuart-Cole joined ORE Catapult in July 2019 as R&D Partnership Manager and is responsible for managing the range of strategic partnerships that the organisation has formed with key industry stakeholders including wind farm developers, OEMs and European RTOs.

Simone has a PhD in Physics from the University of Leeds and throughout her 10-year career has held a number of varied roles that have included positions as an academic researcher, an industrial research engineer, a professional proposal developer and an international project delivery manager.

Having worked on a range of research projects across a variety of sectors including consumer goods, healthcare, aerospace, water, oil and gas and renewable energy, Simone has extensive experience of  the development, contract negotiation and delivery of international R&D projects, and is highly experienced in the development of successful public funding proposals.

People, Research & Innovation

Dr Thomas Wildsmith

Thomas joined ORE Catapult as a Business Development Proposals Manager in January 2019. He is responsible for establishing effective relationships and developing new collaborative R&D projects with partners across the innovation landscape and around the world using a mixture of public funded opportunities and commercial engagements.

Prior to joining ORE Catapult Thomas worked as a research scientist in the defence sector, leading advanced materials development for international research projects, he then went on to work in the printed electronics industry where he managed multiple CR&D and commercial research projects with international partners. More recently he worked for the University of Reading where he was responsible for business engagement for the health theme, developing research and commericialisation opportunties. Thomas has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Bath.

People, Research & Innovation

Dr John Nwobu

Dr John Nwobu has over 7 years of experience in working within the wind power, power electronics, and energy storage industry.  He joined ORE Catapult in 2019 to provide input into the electrical infrastructure as a Research Engineer in Grid & Storage. He is responsible for the support and delivery of research and development activities related to electrical grid and storage and the development of the R&D and commercial activity in this area.

He is currently involved in some of the cutting-edge leading projects within the wind industry such as the Total Control H2020, FarmConners H2020 and ERANET CLUE project. In the Total Control project, he leads the development task of a baseline hierarchical wind power plant supervisory controller for wind farms.  In FarmConners project, he is part of the team working on the tasks on regulatory issues, standards, and certification in wind farms. In CLUE project, he part of the team looking at the demonstration of wind power multi-vector energy systems in the Fife local energy community in UK. He also leads across company academic research projects looking at energy storage in wind farms.

Prior to joining ORE Catapult, John was a project lead on research and development of hybrid energy storage systems for UK company where he was involved in the development of hybrid energy storage projects for UK and Global Energy Markets. He has an author of a number of journals and conference papers.

People, Research & Innovation

Dr Ander Madariaga

Dr Ander Madariage is a driven engineering professional that is familiar with the challenges of high performance international teams. Ander is a chartered electrical engineer (CEng, MIET), Certified project manager (Prince) and Cigre member, with experience in many aspects of offshore wind grid integration, innovation funding and delivery, and infrastructure planning and asset management.

Having trained in Industrial Engineering (MEng), Electronic Technologies (MSc) and Electrical Engineering (PhD), Ander holds a Senior Engineering position at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. Ander leads the technical delivery of key projects, involving wind generation and testing assets, facing clients and managing multi-disciplinary delivery teams. Good communication skills, sound reporting to senior management, and familiar with technical regulatory aspects of offshore renewables and power networks.

Research interests are related to different aspects of offshore renewables grid integration, such as offshore wind turbine and power plant control strategies modelling for frequency and voltage support, and ancillary service provision. Electrical Infrastructures state of the art and technological trends including specific components like submarine cables, converters and conventional electrical components.

Ander is also interested in more specific techniques and methodologies for asset management and investment planning for power transmission infrastructure, including an understanding of on force regulations, market mechanisms and grid code requirements. Also interested in the role of energy and electricity storage in supporting offshore renewables grid integration, which includes technology aspects of different forms of electrochemical storage and hydrogen as cross energy-vector large scale energy storage element. Wider environmental and sustainability elements like recyclability and circular economies are also of interest.

People, Research & Innovation

Dr David Young

Dr David Young is a Research Engineer in offshore electrical infrastructure as part of our Research and Disruptive Innovation department. His role involves researching novel technologies associated with dynamic cables, their operation and their associated failure mechanisms.

He completed his 4-year EngD programme with the Industrial Doctoral centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE), with ORE Catapult sponsoring the industrial project. This work focused on the electro-mechanical coupled failure mechanisms of dynamic offshore cables, with an emphasis on floating offshore wind applications. Separate to this he holds a MEng in Chemical Engineering from Queens University Belfast, granting a unique insight to the material and process interactions at the chemical scale of offshore cable failures. Prior to this he began his career working in the Oil and Gas sector.

David brings a broad range of skills in data analysis, computational dynamic cable modelling, floating wind hydrodynamics, has presented and published his work at international conferences and is involved in STEM activities.

People, Research & Innovation

Dr Chunjiang Jia

Dr Chunjiang Jia is the Senior Research Engineer on power conversion in the Applied Research Team and focusing on power conversion reliability in offshore renewable energy industry.

Chunjiang has over 10 years of experience in power electronics design and reliability analysis. Since joining ORE Catapult in 2015, Chunjiang has taken part in a series of high impact research projects to improve the converter reliability, such as RiaSoR (Reliability in a Sea of Risk, funded by OCEANERA-NET), OPTIMUS (EU funded FP7 project), RECODE, Anemoi, TotalControl. He has also taken part in projects to optimise the control of power converter, such as eGrid (Electrical Power Grid Emulator),  MaRINET2, CAPOW.

Before joining ORE Catapult, Chunjiang had spent more than four years at Siemens Gamesa wind power in wind turbine converter design as a development engineer, covering component validation, converter thermal validation, harmonic evaluation, control improvement, etc.

Chunjiang also had number of years of post doctorate research experience as a research associate in converter design for extreme cold environment at the University of Manchester. Prior to this, Chunjiang received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, investigating the performance of power conversion circuit at cryogenic temperatures.

Chunjiang has published 10 conference and journal papers and hold one international patent on wind turbine electrical system area. He is also member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

People, Research & Innovation

Wooyong Song

Wooyong Song joined ORE Catapult in 2018 and is responsible for the engineering service and R&D program related to the gear and bearing of offshore wind and tidal turbines.

During his 20 year career, he has covered various disciplines including product design and development of many different types of rolling element bearings, automated drivetrain design/development including most mechanical sub-components, validation test program management, system integration project management, etc. Through his exposure to these disciplines, he has expertise in drivetrain system/component simulation and various industrial bearing design/development aspects.

Wooyong’s current research focus is on bearing test program enhancement, advanced sensing and new wind turbine bearing solution. With his expertise, he is involved in various research projects including Bearing Accelerated and Representative Test methodology development program (BART), 6MW pitch and main bearing test program, and advanced integrated supervisory wind turbine control and condition monitoring for optimal of large wind power plant.

Also, he has supervised various academic research topics with Sheffield university associated with the research platform of the Powertrain Research Hub (PTRH). The topics include the pitch bearing failure mechanism investigation and test methods enhancement, critical operating condition identification for wind turbine main shaft bearings and advanced bearing sensing using ultrasonic reflectometry technique to measure oil film thickness and contact load.

Academic, People, Research & Innovation

Hyunjoo Lee

Hyunjoo Lee joined ORE Catapult in 2014 and is responsible for the research on the drive trains of offshore wind and tidal turbines.  He started his career in 2000 as a system load analysis engineer to develop 750kW wind turbines and managed several key projects related to the renewable energy sector including 750kW~ 5MW wind turbine gearbox development.

During his 20 years career, Hyunjoo has worked as a drivetrain engineer to analyse and design of drivetrain system/components including gears, bearing, shaft, supporting structures, drivetrains, lubrication system, bolts connections, advanced representative test methods and machine learning based condition monitoring system.

In ORE Catapult, Hyunjoo leads Drive train Knowledge Area to improve the quality of drive train test and develop new technology to reduce the cost of offshore energy. Recently he leads R&D projects to develop pitch system condition monitoring system with SCADA based machine learning algorithm and hydrodynamic journal bearing for large offshore wind turbines.

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