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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Dr Michael Smailes

Dr Michael Smailes

Senior Research Engineer, Grid Integration

Dr Michael Smailes has an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) from the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter. He started at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (then Narec) in 2013 for a three-year industrial placement for his EngD on the “Hybrid HVDC Transformer for Multi-Terminal Networks” (patent pending). At its conclusion in 2016, Michael joined ORE Catapult full time as an electrical researcher in the applied research team specialising in electrical grid integration.

Since starting at ORE Catapult, Michael has been involved in multiple projects from upgrading a 7 MW offshore wind turbine to become black start capable, to co-location of energy storage with offshore wind energy and the test validation of a 6 and 12 MW wind turbine. He has also led/leading seven projects in the offshore renewables field. The most notable of these include the development of a novel MMC control algorithm (the HD-MMC) which has now been patented; the successful wet commissioning of an 18 MVA grid emulation system using an offshore wind turbine; and the development of a program to automate the validation of offshore wind turbine blade, powertrain and grid certification testing.

Michael now also supervises two post doctorate research projects investigating the future of grid compliance testing and three PhDs students researching novel powertrain topologies and enhanced grid service provision. Michael has published more than 13 high quality research and industry papers and presented at over 25 international conferences and is a named inventor on a patent for MMC control. He has currently sits on the National Grid’s grid code investigation working groups GC0138 and GC0141.

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