SAMS programme wins energy award

Students at SAMS UHI on an IDCORE field trip, a programme which has been recognised with a Scottish Green Energy award.

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A training programme to prepare research students for the offshore renewable energy sector has been recognised with a Scottish Green Energy award.

Led by the University of Edinburgh, the Industrial Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE), which has input from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), won an award for contribution to skills at the recent virtual prizegiving ceremony.

Since its inception, IDCORE has trained more than 60 engineering doctoral students to support the offshore renewable energy sector.

As part of the programme, SAMS UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, shares its marine science expertise.

Students are taught how renewable energy machines interact with the natural environment and how it interacts with them.

The students are introduced to the sea, including aspects such as the biology of marine mammals, birds, fish as well as the myriad of organisms like barnacles which will grow on machines and reduce their efficiency.

They also learn about the laws around marine industries and why they matter for environmental protection.

In a second summer school, they learn about how their sector interacts with other people’s interests and activities at sea, including aquaculture, shipping, tourism and governance.

Professor Ben Wilson, who co-ordinates the SAMS UHI programme, said: ‘New technologies harnessing renewable energy from wind, waves and tides offer us all huge hope for tackling climate change as well as generating skilled jobs around the world.

‘However, it’s important the introduction of a new green industry doesn’t itself negatively impact the natural world or other users of the sea. Being able to broaden the perspectives of the brightest future engineers working in these sectors is a pleasure and an honour for the SAMS teaching team. Being part of the team that won the SSE Renewables sponsored Contribution to Skills Award is a proud moment for us.’

IDCORE also involves the universities of Exeter and Strathclyde and is funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council.

The green energy awards are organised by Scottish Renewables and sponsored by EDF Renewables to honour those making outstanding contributions to the future of renewable energy.

CAPTION: NO-T51 Business – IDCORE students at SAMS UHI on a field trip