Research interests in ‘New Energy’ forms are focussed principally on offshore renewable energy. One of the most pressing requirements in this area if Government targets are to be met is the rapid deployment of wind farms and arrays of wave and tidal energy converters. Rapid deployment can be enhanced by installing devices designed with this objective using purpose designed vessels operating within a logistically efficient whole systems approach. The School is active in all levels of the hierarchical research required by this approach. A variety of wet renewable conceptual designs have been investigated in the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory, which hosts a unique combined wind/wave/current flume, and the Cavitation Tunnel, which has been especially modified for testing tidal turbines. The School is internationally renowned for ship design and has recently designed and taken delivery of its own research vessel. Research interests in hull design are well suited to the development of novel offshore support and maintenance vessels for the renewables industry.
As well as the development of the offshore renewable energy devices, the School is active in research into the transportation infrastructure for oil and gas and also in the requirements of new infrastructure for the transportation of CO2 as part of Carbon Capture and Storage projects (CCS). Specifically, the pipeline engineering research that is being conducted at Newcastle University addresses the themes of security and integrity of existing infrastructure and also the development of CO2 pipelines for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects.
Another area of expertise for which the School has an international reputation for excellence is in Ship Management and Transport in which Whole Systems logistics is researched.