Dr Michael Smailes

Principal Research and Development Engineer

Dr. Michael Smailes has a Masters (MEng) in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh and an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) on HVDC transformers through the IDCORE Programme (Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter University). Since coming to ORE Catapult in 2013, Michael has specialised in electrical grid integration. He is now a Principal Research Engineer in the RTC directorate leading the Grid Compliance team.


Michael’s areas of interest revolve around the improved integration of renewable energy to the electrical grid. This can be split into three pillars, first the development of new control philosophies for Modular Multilevel Converters (MMCs) and wind turbine power converters to improve performance and provide ancillary services (e.g. inertia support and black start etc…). Second, to advance ORE Catapult’s test capabilities, including through use of Power Hardware In the Loop (P-HIL) and development of new facilities (eGrid, mini-eGrid etc…). And third, improvement of existing capabilities through the development of new software analysis tools for generator and grid compliance testing on the next generation of offshore wind turbines (e.g. Haliade X).


Through these activities, Michael has published over 20 research papers and technical articles, a patent on MMC control and presented at circa 30 international conferences. He has retained strong links with academia through supervision of PhD students and PDRA projects as well as designing and supporting the delivery of a postgraduate course module and championing STEM activities.