MaREI Director Jerry Murphy featured in Silicon Republic

Prof Jerry Murphy, director of the MaREI centre in Cork, believes we need new solutions to our urgent energy demands….


The EERES4WATER project will explore opportunities for the deployment of renewable energy and efficiency measures in the water and waste water sector

MaRINET2 1st Access Call Opening 10th April

The EU MaRINET2 initiative first access call is opening on the 10th April, the website will also become live on that date. MaRINET2 is a network of 39 partners, involving research centres and organisations cooperating to progress offshore renewable energy technologies such as wave, tidal and offshore-wind.  It achieves this through marine energy development companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and researchers with fully-funded access to marine energy experts and advanced test facilities.


Save Interviews John Ringwood recently interviewed MaREI Principle Investigator Professor John Ringwood. Read about what he has to say in this article.

MaREI’s Professor Frederic Dias inducted into Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Dias, an applied mathematician at University College Dublin (UCD) and a global leader in fluid dynamics research, has been elected a foreign member of the prestigious Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Daniel Toal

Robotics in Space, Underwater, Industry and the Law

MMRRC’s deirector and MaREI Co-PI, gave a talk on the Engineers Ireland event, jointly organised by Engineers Ireland, Mechanical and Manufacturing Division, and Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Marine Energy Alliance

The Marine Energy Alliance (MEA) is a 4 year European Territorial Cooperation project running from May 2018 to May 2022. The project has a total budget of €6 million and is financially supported by Interreg North West Europe, who provides €3.6 million of ERDF funding.

The aim of MEA is to progress the technical and commercial maturity level of early-stage (TRL 3 – 4) marine energy technology companies with the overall goal of reducing the risk of device failure in subsequent demonstration phases.

Via MEA, selected marine energy technology companies are able to receive a suite of tailored expert services that will enable them to realise their ambitions and, more broadly, contribute to the coherent growth of the marine energy industry in general.

Through participation in MEA, companies will gain access to the project partners’ world-leading expertise in marine energy development. Awarded companies will have the chance to work closely together with a transnational team of marine energy experts on both the technical advancement of their technology, as well as the development of their commercial strategy and business plans. Each service offer is intended to put the company’s technology and business firmly on the road towards successful commercialisation.


2-Stage application process

Access to the MEA Service Offer is awarded to companies via a two-Stage application process. The first Stage of the application process requests the applicant to submit an online Expression of Interest. The online Expression of Interest should be completed and submitted via the MEA project website. Successful applicants passing the first Stage are invited to take part in the second Stage of the application process. This Stage involves a 30-minute remote (online) interaction involving a brief pitch (5 – 10 minutes) followed by a Q&A session conducted by representatives of the MEA partnership.

Applications are evaluated using eligibility criteria and qualitative criteria. Applicants should ensure to familiarise themselves with the information in the Guidance Document before submitting their Expression of Interest.


Timeline for the first Call for Applications

The first Call for Applications is open until Friday 15 February 2019 at 17:00 (CET). Any applications received after that exact date and time will not be considered eligible. Successful applicants passing Stage 1 are informed on the 1st of March 2019 and will be instructed to prepare for their pitch and Q&A in Stage 2. An indication of the timelines is given below:



Remaining questions not answered in the FAQ and Guidance Document can be directed to

A webinar will be organised mid-January 2019 to introduce the project and the first Call for Applications. The exact date and time will be published on this website and our social media pages early January 2019.



Project MEA is part of one of 14 European transnational cooperation programs developed with the goal of making northwestern Europe a key economic player with high level of innovation, sustainability and cohesion.

The project partners include Dutch Marine Energy Center (DMEC), European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI), Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Exceedence, INNOSEA, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, the University of Edinburgh, and communications partner Navingo.

They will work jointly to deliver integrated technical and commercial services, tailored to the needs of 40 companies yet to receive the support, in order to reduce the risk in the subsequent demonstration phases for their technologies.

St Columbas Girls National School Win ‘Best Overall Project’ in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative 2019

Port of Cork Chairman, Mr. John Mullins congratulated St Columbas Girls National School for being awarded ‘Best Overall Project’ in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative 2019. Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown were given special recognition for their outstanding level of research and content used in their project.

The Port of Cork have been running their primary schools initiative for 13 years now and 2019 was the first year that Port of Cork teamed up with MaREI, the UCC research Centre for marine and renewable energy based in Ringaskiddy, to deliver this educational initiative around marine litter.

St Columbas Girls National School’s ‘Plastic Monster’

Themed ‘Maintaining a Healthy Harbour’ the initiative educated school children on marine litter and the detrimental effects it can have on our oceans, harbour and shorelines. Over twenty schools took part and with the help of MaREI, classes were encouraged to collect and use marine litter and recycled items to create a 3D art project that makes people stop and think.

John Mullins said: ‘All the schools that participated in this year’s initiative can feel proud of their efforts as the projects submitted were incredibly visual and would certainly make people stop and think about the effects of marine litter.’

He told the children they are our future and said: ‘It is the younger generation, like yourselves that will make the difference and you are an inspiration for us all.’

The Port of Cork were joined by Aoife Deane from MaREI and Susan Vickers from Clean Coasts who both judged the projects.

Researchers estimate that over 10 million tonnes of litter ends up in the world’s oceans each year and 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals (seals, whales, dolphins) die every year because of marine litter through entanglement or ingestion. There is a growing public awareness of the issue, and with almost half of all marine litter being made up of just 10 types of single-use plastic items, we can take steps to tackle the problem.

Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins reminded all participating classes that as well as receiving a certificate of participation, every class will be treated to a high speed, fun filled boat trip around Cork Harbour, compliments of the Port of Cork. As an extra special prize, best overall winners St Columbas Girls National School will go on board a cruise liner in May for a tour of the ship.

All school projects are currently on display at the Cobh Maritime Building, located on the platform at Cobh Railway Station until the end of May.

As part of Cork Harbour Festival and Seafest the projects will be on display to the public in Custom House, Cork City from 1st – 9th June 2019

Irish puffins go with the flow!

Irish puffins tracked by GPS reveal they have adapted their behaviour to use tides when foraging

MaREI Symposium 2019

‘Collaborating today for a sustainable tomorrow’

MaREI Researcher wins SFI Research Image of the Year

MaREI’s Dr Mark Jessopp won SFI Research Image of the Year at the SFI Science Summit 2017 for his arresting image ‘Osmotic Shock’…

ESRI-UCC-MaREI Climate Action Conference

On May 17 2019, MaREI in association with ESRI held a Climate Action Conference.

The presentations can be found online HERE



The conference showcased the findings from a number of collaborative research projects between UCC and the ESRI, undertaken within MaREI, the SFI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy.

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland and a number of industry partners and Governmental Departments the presentations focused on a number of key short, medium and long-term topics that will inform Ireland’s forthcoming All of Government Plan on Climate Action.

Evaluation as a Roadmap for the Climate Transition

Governments around the world face a range of urgent challenges including climate change, resource depletion, environmental pollution and rising inequality

MaREI at SeaFest

MaREI and Galway Atlantaquaria teamed up to present an interactive exhibit ‘Discover Oceans of Energy’ at SeaFest…

Frederic Dias Awarded €2.5 million in ERC Funding to Develop more Accurate Models for Breaking Ocean Waves

MaREI’s Professor Frederic Dias, an applied mathematician at University College Dublin (UCD), and a global leader in fluid dynamics research has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant of €2.5 million.

He has received the funding for a study focused on improving our understanding of the physics and dynamics of breaking ocean waves to develop more accurate operational wave models.

Such models could help to improve wave forecasting models, improve criteria for the design of ships and coastal and offshore infrastructures, help to quantify seabed erosion by powerful breaking waves and quantify air-sea gas transfer. The ability to quantify CO2 transfer velocities is key to predicting future climate.

Professor Dias was previously awarded an ERC Advanced Grant in 2011 and is among only three Ireland-based researchers to be awarded a second Advanced Grant. The first researcher in Ireland to be awarded a second ERC Advanced Grant was geneticist Professor Kenneth Wolfe, who is also based at UCD.

Professor Dias, who is a researcher in the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics and in the UCD Earth Institute, has received this latest ERC funding for a 5-year study, entitled, ‘HIGHWAVE – Breaking of highly energetic waves.’.

Professor Dias is also a principal investigator with MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and holds a position at Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, France.

The funding will result in the establishment of 6 new research positions (PhD students and post-doc researchers) at the University.

A central element of the work builds on recent international developments in the field of wave breaking by Professor Dias that provide the first universal criterion for predicting the onset of breaking waves in uniform water depths from deep to intermediate.

Professor Frederic Dias said, “I am thrilled to receive this ERC Advanced Grant which will allow me and my team to further explore fundamental open questions in the field of wave breaking. Our goal at the end of this study is to develop more accurate operational wave models and to better parameterise CO2 transfer velocities by taking into account sea states and not only wind speed.”

“Such models will have practical and economic benefits such as improving sea state forecasting; evaluating seabed response to extreme waves, determining structural loads on ships and offshore infrastrutures and optimising operational strategies for maritime and marine renewable energy enterprises.”

He added, ”The funding will also enable me to build an interdisciplinary team of talented post-docs and PhD students in areas such as coastal and ocean engineering, earth system science, statistics, and fluid dynamics.”

Professor Dias is one of 222 top researchers and scientists from across Europe, who between them will receive ERC Advanced Grants worth a total of €540 million, as part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This funding will give recipients the opportunity to build up their teams and have far-reaching impact.

ERC Advanced Grants are awarded under the ‘excellent science pillar’ of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation programme. Awardees are exceptional leaders in their field with track records of significant research achievements in the last ten years.

The ERC evaluated 2,052 research proposals in this latest competition, almost 11% of which were selected for funding. The grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 20 countries across Europe. The grants could lead to the creation of an estimated 2,000 new jobs for postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in the grantees’ research teams.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation, and Impact said, “I would like to congratulate Professor Dias on receiving his second ERC Advanced Grant. His success for a second time in this prestigious and highly competitive Europe-wide funding call indicates the quality of the world-class fluid dynamics research which he and his team are carrying out at UCD and I wish them continued success.”

“The ERC Advanced Grants fund well-established research leaders with internationally renowned track records. Only three Ireland-based researchers have now been successful in securing a second ERC Advanced Grant and two of them, Professor Kenneth Wolfe and Professor Dias are based at UCD. This signifies the strength of the research taking place at our University.”

Carlos Moedas, European  Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “The ERC  Advanced Grants back outstanding researchers throughout Europe. Their pioneering work has the potential to make a difference in people’s everyday life and deliver solutions to some of our most urgent challenges.  The  ERC  gives  these bright minds the possibility to follow their most creative ideas and  to play a decisive role in the advancement of all domains of knowledge”

The President of the European Research Council Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said, “Since 2007,  the European Research Council has attracted and financed some of the most audacious research proposals, and independent evaluations show that this approach has paid off.  With this call, another 222 researchers from all over Europe and beyond will pursue their best ideas and are  in an excellent position to trigger breakthroughs and  major scientific advances.”

He added, “Had the ERC budget been higher, more brilliant ideas could have been supported in Europe. I hope that the next EU framework programme for research, Horizon Europe, will make this possible. There  is certainly more room at the top.”

Further details on the latest ERC Advanced Grant Awards are available via

Lir National Ocean Test Facility Officially Launched by An Tánaiste

Ireland’s ocean energy test facility, Lir, was officially opened today in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, TD….

IBEC release major new report outlining a vision for 2050 that would see Ireland have a smart, low carbon economy

You can download the report and brochure HERE

Climate change is the single greatest challenge faced by humankind today. Global temperatures are increasing, our environment is changing, and human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are responsible. Ireland must take decisive action to decouple emissions from population and economic growth and transition to a competitive low carbon economy.

For Irish business, such a transition presents a unique opportunity to build a better Ireland. If we focus on smart, cost-effective and evidence-based policies, we can use the transition to enhance our energy security, boost competitiveness, improve quality of life and create thousands of sustainable jobs across the country.

Ibec’s vision is for Ireland to achieve a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 by pursuing a well-planned roadmap for businesses and citizens.

We also wish to thank Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir and Dr Fionn Rogan from the SFI MaREI Centre’s Energy Policy and Modelling Group in University College Cork. Brian and Fionn gave their time to facilitate a series of dynamic workshops with Ibec members covering a range of topics relating to the low carbon transition. They also provided expert analysis and advice throughout the development of the report.

You can download the report and brochure HERE

Joseph Coleman on Pint of Science Limerick 2017

Pint of Science Limerick

MaREI researcher, Joseph Coleman, from the University of Limerick, participated in the Pint of Science Limerick event, bringing science and engineering closer to general public.

MaREI Wins Excellence In Marine Research at Seafest

Minister Michael Creed and Dr Mark White present Prof. Jerry Murphy with MaREI’s Excellence in Marine Research Award


MaREI and the Lir National Ocean Test Facility Win at the Marine Industry Awards

MaREI and the Lir National Ocean Test Facility have won the Excellence in Marine Research Award and the Excellence in Marine Renewable Energy Award respectively at the recently held Marine Industry Awards held in Galway as part of SeaFest 2017. The Awards reflect the Centre’s contribution to excellence in Ireland’s maritime economy which, in 2016, showed a 23% increase in turnover, a 20% increase in gross value added (GVA) and a 10% increase in employment compared to 2014.


Professor Jerry Murphy, Director of MaREI said, ‘I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of the MaREI Centre. The Centre continues to grow and represents six institutes across Ireland, employs over 180 researchers and has over 45 industry partners. This latest success reflects the cutting edge and impactful research that we are carrying out across the Marine, Marine Renewable Energy and Renewable sectors.’

Serious rise in Irish greenhouse gas emissions

The State could face European Union fines of more than €450 million in 2020 for missing legally binding targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions…

New Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre Gets Government Boost

MaREI is delighted that the Blue Economy Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) application led by the University of Tasmania (Hobart, Australia) has been successful. This $329 million research partnership is a 10-year collaboration between 45 national and international partners from industry, research and government, underpinned by a $70 million cash investment from the Federal Government, $78 million cash investment and $181 million in-kind investment from participants.


Key points:

The Blue Economy CRC includes broad industry participation across all the Centres 3 core sectors of offshore engineering, aquaculture and marine renewable energy with MaREI’s in-kind contribution being focussed on expert advice on marine governance, offshore renewable, co-location of marine platforms and aquaculture.


These core sectors are underpinned by five integrated research programmes with funding spread across these areas:

  • Offshore Engineering & Technology ($68m),
  • Seafood and Marine Products ($65.9m),
  • Offshore Renewable Energy Systems ($66m),
  • Environment and Ecosystems ($65.9m), and
  • Sustainable Offshore Developments ($62.8m).


MaREI, in addition to the Australian industry, government and research partners, will be joining partners from New Zealand, Chile, China, Singapore, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, France, Spain and the UK in order to deliver the ambitious research programmes.


Guy Barnett, MP Minister for Primary Industries and Water, on behalf of the Tasmanian Government personally thanked MaREI for our support, and for participating in and contributing to the successful submission.

MaREI researchers meet with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

The meeting focused on the areas where there are opportunities for research to address some of the climate challenges.

MaRINET2 to fund offshore renewables testing

Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network launches second call for applications through MaRINET2 project…

Rare Beluga whale, mainly an Arctic species, found off Irish coast

Article via the Irish Times


A three-year survey which included recording the sounds of whales, dolphins and porpoises deep in marine waters off the Irish coast has generated a vast amount of new detail about their numbers, seasonal habits and where they frequent.

The survey “has provided the first insights into rare and illusive species that spend nearly their entire life underwater at great depths,” according to the scientists involved.

It included an aerial survey of vast areas around the Irish coast and out into the Atlantic Ocean, which also recorded sightings of seabirds.

The acoustic survey was led by a team of scientists at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, while an international team led by researchers at University College Cork conducted the aerial survey.

At least three species of beaked whales were recorded and little is known about these deep-diving offshore species. Endangered Blue whales were also detected, even when they were up to 200km away, using recording devices placed in seas off the west coast.

Strong seasonal patterns in their sounds were noted and described – they vocalise more coinciding with breeding season.

A total of 20 species of whales, dolphin and porpoises were recorded, analysed and mapped while almost 2,200 aerial sightings were confirmed by the ObSERVE Programme.

Some 380 Sperm whales were found using acoustic detection and tracking methods. The Beluga (white) whale was also recorded, though it is mainly an Arctic species.

Minke whales were most frequently observed, while there were abundant baleen whales – about 12,000 in summer and 5,000 in winter.

West coast

The €2.7 million project was commissioned by the Government to enhance knowledge and understanding of protected species and sensitive habitats offshore covering the Irish Atlantic Margin, deep waters off the west coast that is nearly 1½ times the area of the UK, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea.

Considerable variation was found in the distribution, abundance and movements of dolphin species. Bottlenose dolphins were much more abundant during winter than summer, with densities in the winter of 2016-2017 being among the highest ever recorded.

Aerial surveys highlighted the importance of the Irish Atlantic Margin for seabirds with almost half a million seabirds located within the study area: during both summer and winter 10,000 sightings of seabirds were recorded, representing 24 species.

In the western Irish Sea an estimated 100,000 birds were present in summer, 90,000 in winter, with migrating seabirds boosting these estimates to 300,000 in the autumn.

Dr Mark Jessopp of UCC said the aerial programme was particularly ambitious and logistically challenging, but has provided essential information on the distribution of cetaceans (the collective name for whales, dolphins and porpoises) in summer and winter over two consecutive years.

“This is the first time we have been able to get robust estimates of cetacean abundance in winter and seabird abundance at sea essential to inform management and conservation of populations,” he added.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, co-ordinated the project, which will inform environmental evaluations of offshore oil and exploration projects; the laying of underwater cables and offshore wind developments.

Silicon Republic’s 25 bright sparks for 2020

Rory Monaghan

Dr Rory Monaghan of MaREI at NUI Galway and the EU GenComm project is hoping to use waste renewable energy electricity to create hydrogen fuel. After six years at MIT, he returned to Ireland to take a postdoctoral position at his alma mater and, in 2012, took up a position there as lecturer of energy systems engineering within mechanical engineering.

As part of GenComm, Monaghan wants to create zero-emission hydrogen fuel from waste renewable wind energy which he has said is an “exciting energy carrier of the future”. He also helps run the award-winning Galway energy-efficient car (Geec) project, with the aim of creating the most energy-efficient car possible.

You can read the full article HERE

€300k allocated in Government funding to empower Community Groups in Renewable Energy Projects

The goal is to empower communities and catalyse a new generation of community-owned energy developments

We’re hiring for FLOAWER

FLOAting Wind Energy netwoRk (FLOAWER) is an Innovative Training Network (ITN), a European project that brings together leading academics and industry leaders in the offshore wind industry, and floating wind turbines in particular. Its goal is to strengthen the leadership and competitiveness of this industry in Europe.

While wind power, the second largest source of power generation capacity in Europe, is growing rapidly, space for wind turbines on land is becoming increasingly scarce. Floating offshore wind (FOW) presents a unique opportunity for Europe with its considerable potential to develop wind farms. However, the sector faces two main challenges: the cost of energy remains high and there is a lack of specialized human resources.

FLOAWER is designed to tackle these challenges. Coordinated by Centrale Nantes, the project has just gotten underway for a period of four years. This time will be devoted to the multidisciplinary training of early stage researchers in the technologies required for the development of floating wind turbines, with a view to reducing costs and optimizing the profitability of the sector.

The first step during FLOAWER’s launch phase is to recruit the thirteen early stage researchers who will commence training between April and October 2020. To apply, applicants must have a Master’s degree and be in the early years of their research career. Register to apply online on the FLOAWER website until 31 December 2019: (

The four scientific work packages of the FLOAWER programme are as follows:

WP4: Wind Resource Assessment in deep water


WP5: Advanced floater analysis – MaREI

ESR 6: Advanced physical Modelling Methods for Floating wind turbines
Host: University College of Cork (UCC)
Country: Ireland
Supervisors: Prof. Jimmy Murphy and Dr. Cian Desmond
36 months
Research programme:
1.    Perform a set of high quality validation from physical testing of an elemental floating object;
2.    Perform a set of high quality validation data for a floating wind energy platform with both aerodynamic and hydrodynamic effects;
3.    LCOE analysis outputs.


WP6: Dynamics of wind turbine

WP7: System design of reduce Levelized Cost Of Energy

FLOAWER Partners
Centrale Nantes (ECN) (France), Politecnico di Milano (PoliMI) (Italy), Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (UOLD) (Germany), University of Stuttgart (SWE) (Germany), CNRS (France), University College Cork (UCC) (Ireland), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (Norway), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), WavEC (Portugal) and University of Rostock (UROS) (Germany).

MaREI Research Featured in the Irish Times

Scientists spot rare beaked whales off Irish coast

MaREI Marine Ecologists amongst team who locate important habitat of elusive deep diving beaked whales off the West Coast…

JOB VACANCY: Postdoctoral Researchers, Materials and Structures

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for 2 full-time, fixed term 12 month contract positions as postdoctoral researchers within the Materials & Structures Research Group in the MaREI Centre at the College of Engineering and Informatics, National University of Ireland, Galway.

These positions are jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), H2020 Flotec project, H2020 MARINET II project, SEABLADE project, and industry partners through the MaREI Centre.  These positions are for an initial period of 12 months, with the potential to extend subject to project success and future funding acquisition.

You can find the full job spec here

Antarctic Blue Whale and Krill Voyage

This is the most comprehensive scientific voyage ever undertaken to study the largest creature on Earth and its food source.

New Planning Guidelines Published for Climate Adaptation

The Climate Ireland team at MaREI play key role in the development of Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation…

Ireland and China to collaborate in a global climate effort

Researchers from MaREI and the Peoples Republic of China have secured €1,470,000 in funds from SFI and NSFC for a joint project on reducing CO2 emissions.

Enhancing Integration of Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation into Irish Emergency Planning

MaREI and the School of Law at UCC have been awarded a grant by the EPA for a project called “Enhancing Integration of Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation into Irish Emergency Planning”. The project objectives are to explore how climate change will affect short- and medium-term change to vulnerable communities and sectors in Ireland and how this affects the emergency/incident types identified in the Strategic Emergency Management (SEM) National Structures and Framework. The project will be supported by the Irish Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The project will look at exploring synergies between Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) with Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) (and sustainable development) to provide opportunities to better approach the longer term planned response (i.e. CCA planning) in combination with how Ireland responds in the short term to extreme weather (i.e. emergency management).

The outcomes from the project will be designed to provide guidance for better coordination and coherence for emergency planning in Ireland and how these are maintained and enhanced for planning for resilience of Ireland’s communities in both the short- and long-term. They will identify synergies between Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management with Climate Change Adaptation and provide guidance for both the assessment for climate induced enhanced vulnerability to change (using the Climate Ireland platform also hosted by MaREI) and how this can be incorporated into the implementation of Strategic Emergency Management national structures and Framework in Ireland.

Early in the New year of 2020, we will be advertising for a post-doctoral position to support the work with colleagues in MaREI and the School of Law so watch out for job advertisements on UCC and further information for anyone interested in this position can be provided by martin.letissier@ucc

Funded PhD in Coastal Erosion Modelling

MaREI to lead €9m project to build floating offshore platform

MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine hosted by University College Cork has been awarded €9 million for the H2020 project MUSICA to build a pilot multi-use platform which will be a decarbonising one-stop-shop for small islands, including their marine initiatives (Blue Growth) and ecosystems.


MUSICA which stands for Multiple Use of Space for Island Clean Autonomy will pilot a floating offshore platform which will provide 70% of the electricity and 100% of freshwater for a small island with up to 2000 inhabitants. The energy will be supplied via renewable energy and will be a combination of wind, PV and wave energy and the desalinated water will be powered by green renewable electricity.


Small islands normally pay double if not triple the cost for electricity and water supply, and often have very poor or intermittent supply. This project will provide a cost-effective solution whilst also providing independence and autonomy and will demonstrate that floating multi-purpose platforms can share the same space and work synergistically together, sharing supply chains and reducing operating and maintenance costs and solving the increasing demand for space.

The platform will also provide a support infrastructure for local aquaculture, trialling an offshore aquaculture cage beside the platform, providing all the energy and feed for the cage to provide higher fish yields, and an environmentally green product. The provision of a floating refuelling station for yachts and boats means that they can recharge their batteries and stock up with fresh water without having to go into a busy marina, and pay high fees.


MUSICA is of great interest to the European Commission as well as the United Nations. The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a United Nations initiative supporting small island states which are increasingly prone to climate change problems as well as water shortages. As MUSICA is the ideal solution for SIDS the team has been invited by the UN to present the project at the next SIDS meeting in New York.


Ireland also has an interest in offshore floating platforms, wanting to be a world leader on offshore floating wind as well as floating platforms containing sensors and data monitoring. MUSICA will be presenting its low-cost floating platform solution to Simon Coveney in the near future.


MaREI’s Gordon Dalton who is leading the project said “a successful demonstration pilot of the MUSICA platform will place Ireland as the world leader in providing energy, water and aquaculture solutions for the important niche market of small island around the globe.”


The 5-year project which has 15 partners from 7 EU Member States will develop complete business plans to move to MUSICA to mass-market commercialisation and will start by developing roadmaps for 3 trail case study islands: Malta, Canaries, and Chios in the Aegean.

Free courses on offshore renewables with MaRINET2

MaREI co-ordinated project MaRINET2 has opened registrations for the first set of ten courses on offshore renewable energy to be delivered over the next three years.

The short, two-to-five days long, courses for industry and academic researchers in the offshore renewable energy sector are organized and lectured by MaRINET2 project partners and will focus on three areas: wave, wind, and tidal energy.

The topics covered include integrated tank testing, hydrodynamics of fixed and floating offshore wind turbine foundations, reliability and risk analysis of ORE technologies as well as test and verification processes from tanks to the sea.

The courses are aimed at early-stage researchers and postgraduate students, as well as industry and private sector participants. There is no registration fee, and travel & subsistence support is available to early-stage researchers and postgraduate students.

MaRINET2 is a €10.5m project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and coordinated by MaREI. The project has been set up to accelerate the development of offshore renewable energy technologies by providing free-of-charge access to a network of 57 research facilities across Europe.

‘For wave and tidal potential, geography is definitely on our side’

The below article was published in The Irish Times by Lorna Siggins. See here for the original article.


When one of the world’s largest energy companies identifies solar, wind and nuclear as targets for diversified investment, advocates of ocean energy might just feel despondent.

Similarly, when former US vice-president and Nobel prize-winning politician Al Gore places so much faith in solar power during his sequel documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel, one might expect a note of disappointment in Prof Tony Lewis’s voice.

However, Lewis is optimism undimmed when it comes wave and tidal potential. The fact that Saudi Arabia’s Aramco would identify sun and wind as priorities for diversification into renewables is as much about geography as the fact that solar and wind costs are falling.

“Of course, money is going into solar in the short term, as the Chinese have filled the market with cheap solar cells,” Prof Lewis says. “And there has been significant increase in interest in solar farms in Ireland.”

“But by 2050, we are going to need everything we have got to reach Paris climate agreement targets, and that has to include wave and tidal energy, solar, wind and biomass,” he says. “For wave and tidal potential, geography is definitely on our side.”

Dubbed Ireland’s “ocean energy daddy” and with a penchant for bow ties, Prof Lewis is emeritus Beaufort professor at University College Cork, and principal investigator at the State’s Marine Renewable Energy Ireland centre (MaREI) .

He is also host of next week’s European Wave and Tidal Energy conference in Cork – regarded as one of the world’s leading forums for this sector.

“When the first of these conferences was held in Greece, about 60 people attended. Ireland hosted the fifth of these in 2003, and there were about 160 registered,” he recalls. “We have over 450 registered for this one, and more people inquiring every day.”

Marine resources

The EU has set a target of 100 gigawatts of energy from marine resources by 2050. Some of the 366 papers and 78 parallel sessions listed for the conference in University College Cork, Cork City Hall and MaREI in Ringaskiddy will be debating how this can come about.

To put the European target in context, Ireland’s total annual generation capacity of energy from all sources is 10 gigawatts, and more than 85 per cent of that is imported.

“We need to develop our indigenous energy so that we have security of supply, but also to exploit the incredible market opportunity presented by the 100 Gigawatt target,”he says. “If you think of it, nearly two gigowatts of that 10 is from onshore wind, and the ocean could produce the balancing seven gigowatts if the entire west coast of Ireland was developed for same.”

Six years ago, an SQW Energy study for the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland forecast that the island of Ireland ocean energy sector could be producing a net present value of €9 billion, creating “several thousand jobs”, by 2030. German engineering major Siemens estimated that this island’s offshore and onshore wind, wave and tidal resource accounted for one-third of all such potential in western Europe.

There’s a danger in overly ambitious targets and false optimism, however, as several early pioneers in the sector discovered to their cost. Prof Lewis acknowledges that there are still technical challenges, from anchoring to storage of excess power. An interim review of the State’s offshore renewable energy development plan is due this year.


At the same time, there have been many advances, with wind and solar costs below those of fossil fuel electricity in some parts of the world, and developments in biogas to create a liquid fuel from carbon dioxide and hydrogen, Prof Lewis notes.

“So we are going to have a combination of different ways of using energy, with batteries for storage making more sense in small communities – like Pacific islands, which may become niche developers of ocean energy,” he says.

“Smartgrids which combine wave energy and storage and different types of production, allowing for exporting excess, will also suit smaller communities,” he says. “Electronics allow this to happen.”

He points to the progress in tidal energy made by OpenHydro, founded in 2004 and employing some 120 people in Dublin and Carlingford, Co Louth.

“It is now selling tidal energy turbines in France and Canada, and building a factory in northern France,” Prof Lewis says. “Tidal stream energy offers less opportunities as a resource here, but the technology is simpler, so you could see large arrays of these turbines deployed very soon.”

“Similarly, Cork company Ocean Energy has been testing a 500kw device at the US Navy test site in Hawaii, with funding from the US and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland,” he says.

Next step

The Cobh company had initially tried its smaller scale technology at the Marine Institute’s test site in Galway Bay, and this 500kw device is the next step. It may then be deployed at the ESB International West Wave project off the Clare coast, he says.

“Both Ocean Energy and Sea Power are hoping to overcome the challenges of developing proper anchoring/mooring systems, working with other Irish companies,” he says.

The progress, or otherwise, of adequate planning legislation is another one of those loose ends. A Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill has been listed as a “priority” for several Dáíl terms. The legislation is driven by the EU’s “blue growth” strategy, and gives new powers to Bord Pleanála and coastal local authorities.

“I guess it has to be fit for purpose, and that includes communities,” Prof Lewis acknowledges. “It is a matter of balancing use of the marine environment for energy, fishing, aquaculture and tourism – to everybody’s satisfaction.”

RRI Global Network kick-off meeting at MaREI

Joining forces to bring Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) into the linked up global world to promote mutual learning and collaboration in RRI

Ireland’s first zero-emissions bus arrives to MaREI

With zero carbon emissions, the biomethane-powered bus is a viable alternative for Ireland’s public bus fleet, and the biogas bus has been part of national trials looking at green bus performance, air quality impacts and CO2 emissions, among other criteria.

Biomethane is a clean, renewable gas that is 98% methane. Also known as green gas, it can be used interchangeably with conventional fossil-fuel natural gas, meaning it can be added to the existing gas grid. The majority of European capital cities now run their buses on gas, resulting in lower carbon emissions and better air quality in cities.

“Energy Cork has been advocating the benefits of adopting compressed natural gas and biomethane for our public bus fleet in Cork for a number of years, so we are delighted to be making a journey today on Ireland’s first zero carbon emissions bus. Never has the demand for public transport been greater in Cork with the city centre expecting an additional 10,000 jobs in the next 5 years. We have the opportunity now to shape how we grow and be proactive in adopting technologies that work for the City and which protect our environment and air quality. This technology is tried and tested with examples of biomethane bus fleets in Stockholm, Lille and Nottingham to name just a few cities. We are very keen to see this technology supported by the National Transport Authority and hope to see these buses rolled out in Cork in the not too distant future,” said Michelle O’Sullivan, Energy Cork spokesperson and Cork Chamber Public Affairs Senior Executive.

Faced with EU deadlines to reduce harmful greenhouse gases, and following Budget 2018, Ireland will no longer be able to purchase diesel buses for public transport as of 1st July 2019.  The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport has been carrying out technology trials of hybrid diesel, fully electric, electric hybrid, compressed natural gas (CNG) and biomethane powered buses in Cork and Dublin in recent months to review performance. The green buses have been travelling key routes in the urban bus transport network, but have been weighted rather than carrying passengers so today represents a landmark in Ireland’s move to a greener public transport system.


Dónal Kissane, Commercial Manager, Gas Networks Ireland said, “Gas Networks Ireland is delighted to welcome members of Cork Chamber, Energy Cork and MaREI/UCC to take part in Ireland’s first carbon neutral bus journey.  Unlike the diesel buses currently in operation, this bus runs on renewable gas, and its journey will have a zero carbon emissions footprint.  Gas Networks Ireland believes that the future of public transport in Ireland will be based on renewable gas, using waste from the agriculture and food industry.  Notably, the SEAI has concluded that 25% of the gas used in Ireland could be sourced renewable gas.”

The first passenger bus journey of its kind in Ireland will pick up from Lapps Quay in Cork city and travel to the SFI funded Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI) in Ringaskiddy where passengers will have the opportunity to gain insights from leading gas and algal biofuels researcher Professor Jerry D. Murphy on the research and focus of the work ongoing.


UCC Prof. Jerry Murphy of MaREI added, “Our research in collaboration with Gas Networks Ireland is focussed on greening of transport fuel through circular economy routes. We see agri-slurries and municipal wastes converted to biogas which can then be used to fuel buses and lorries in place of diesel. The biogas systems can operate as waste treatment systems, whilst reducing GHG emissions on the farm, producing biofertiliser, displacing diesel, emitting no harmful emissions in combustion resulting in better air quality in cities.  This demonstration represents a significant step forward in delivering a sustainable renewable fuel for Irish transport.”

Energy Cork, which brings together Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Gas Networks Ireland, Bus Eireann, Cork Chamber and other regional stakeholders, has been working closely to garner support for green bus routes throughout the city and county. Following the success of Drive4Zero, which incentivised Cork commuters to switch to electric cars, Energy Cork believes that green buses are vital to the sustainable infrastructure and development of Cork in the future.

About Biomethane 

Biomethane is a naturally occurring renewable gas produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic materials and residues from agriculture, food production and waste processing. It can be produced biomethane from slurry, sewage, red meat processing waste, residues from breweries and distilleries, food waste, and farm manure. Biomethane not only generates energy, but also supports a more circular economy through the use of waste as a resource.

New directors steer MaREI’s vision for Ireland as energy leader

MaREI has appointed UCC professors Brian Ó Gallachóir and Jerry Murphy as its new co-directors…

MaREI Director Jerry Murphy featured in The Sunday Business Post

Prof Jerry Murphy, director of the MaREI Centre in Cork, wants to see green energy being put to better use by the state.

Royal Cork Claims the Inaugural Sustainability Award at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards

At Volvo Cork Week 2018 the Club attained the Gold Certification from the International ‘Sailors for the Sea’ Clean Regatta programme with the event sustainability partners MaREI and An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme

MARINERG-i ESFRI 2021 roadmap application launch

The MARINERG-i ESFRI 2021 roadmap application launch will take place in Brussels on 25th September 2019 following the EU ESFRI information day. The event marks the conclusion of the H2020 MARINERG-i project and launches our European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap application. This proposes the formation of an integrated European RI that facilitates the future growth and development of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector.


The MARINERG-i RI will be an independent legal entity of distributed ORE testing infrastructures. By consolidating expertise, investment and access to infrastructures, the RI will foster innovation across a variety of ORE technologies and stages of development. As the only integrated ORE platform of this scale worldwide, it will be the epicentre of this developing industry. The project has agreed on an ERIC legal framework and produced science and business plans that ensure the MARINERG-i RI model attains the criteria necessary for a successful ESFRI roadmap 2021 application.


The event will provide attendees with an overview of the proposed MARINERG-i RI and opportunities for networking and discussion with the project consortium (14 partners from 12 countries).

Study on Puffins Population Decline

MaREI’s international research collaboration on puffins found that long-distance travel may be contributing to Irish puffin decline…

Course: Offshore Floating Structures Design

This training event will deal with both the loading of offshore floating structures

UK-Ireland joint initiative to invest €38.6m in training students

MaREI is one of seven SFI Research Centres to be awarded this funding


Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced an investment of approximately €39 million to support the involvement of SFI Research Centres in seven new joint Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). The awards have been made under a new partnership between Science Foundation Ireland and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The CDTs represent one of the UK’s most significant investments in research skills, supporting over seventy centres that will equip the next generation of doctoral level researchers across engineering and physical sciences. The seven joint awards between Ireland and the UK will enable doctoral students based in Irish institutions to benefit from training opportunities and collaboration with Higher Education Institutions in the UK.

Welcoming the seven awards made to SFI Research Centres, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said: “I am pleased to announce this new collaboration that will provide training opportunities for doctoral students in both the UK and Ireland. These new PhD training initiatives will provide opportunities for talented students in SFI Research Centres across Higher Education Institutions. Cultivating and maintaining positive research and development collaborations between Ireland and the UK, as well as the rest of the world, is a priority for the Irish Government, and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is thrilled to be working with the EPSRC on this programme.”

Under the EPSRC-SFI partnership, Science Foundation Ireland will fund students based at an SFI Research Centre who will be integrated into the CDT, with training taking place in both the UK and Ireland. These joint activities will establish and strengthen collaborations at student, supervisor and institutional levels.

The successful Centres will focus on cohort-based doctoral training and cover a wide range of fields, from Advanced Data Storage to Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies.

The seven UK-Ireland collaborations are:

  • IPIC, the SFI Research Centre for Photonics with Queens University Belfast and University of Glasgow: EPSRC CDT in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage
  • I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing with University of Sheffield and University of Manchester: EPSRC CDT in Advanced Metallic Systems: Metallurgical Challenges for the Digital Manufacturing Environment
  • CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices with University of Glasgow, Aston University and University of Birmingham: EPSRC CDT in Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine
  • SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals with University of Nottingham and University College London: EPSRC CDT in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies
  • MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy with University College London and Loughborough University: EPSRC CDT in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment

  • AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials with Imperial College London and University College London: EPSRC CDT in Advanced Characterisation of Materials
  • BEACON, the SFI Research Centre for the Bioeconomy with University of Nottingham: EPSRC CDT: Atoms-to-Products an Integrated Approach to Sustainable Chemistry

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to collaborate with EPSRC on this excellent programme. Ireland and the UK are key drivers of impactful, world-leading research and it is important that we continue to strengthen our partnerships. The level of investment in the Centres for Doctoral Training is significant, and represents our commitment to prepare graduates for careers in research and beyond, and the emphasis we place on progressing international alliances and global opportunities for our researchers. I would like to congratulate the seven SFI Research Centres on their success in this programme and look forward to working with EPSRC over the coming years.”


MaREI researchers to lead Work Package on project OPERA

MaREI awarded funding to address barriers to a thriving Blue Economy

MaREI Research Fellow Dr. Anne Marie O’Hagan has been awarded funding to lead an expert team on Ocean Law and Marine Governance…

MaREI researchers with the Black Rock mini boat

MaREI Students Recover Mini Boat launched by school in the United States

The UL MaREI team has recovered a stranded mini boat Black Rock from the rocky shores of Doolin, Co. Clare which was originally launched by a school from Swan Island…

MaRINET2 Training Programme

After a successful 1st course by CRIACIV, named “Experimental modelling of wind actions and structural response”, the international project continues to roll out its marine sector training program.

The Technical University of Denmark is now about to host its course on “Remote sensing of offshore wind conditions”, in Denmark, 1-3 of November.

The 3rd MaRINET2 course will be hosted by the Maritime Research Institute (Marin) and Environmental Hydraulics Institute University of Cantabria (UC-IHC). Entitled “Hydrodynamics of fixed and floating Offshore Wind Turbine foundations”, the course will take its place November 20th to 22nd in Wageningen, The Netherlands, and is now open to registrations.

The short, two to five days long, courses are targeted for industry and academic researchers in the offshore renewable energy sector. Courses are organized and lectured by MaRINET2 project partners and will focus on three areas: wave, wind, and tidal energy.

The topics covered include integrated tank testing, hydrodynamics of fixed and floating offshore wind turbine foundations, reliability and risk analysis of ORE technologies as well as test and verification processes from tanks to the sea.

The courses are free, and travel & subsistence support is available to MSc, PhD students, and early-stage researchers.

Information on the program, location, and duration of the courses are available on the MaRINET2 website, which will be updated whenever there are new details.


MaRINET2 is a €10.5m project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program and coordinated by the MaREI (Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland) Centre in University College Cork. The project has been set up to accelerate the development of offshore renewable energy technologies by providing free-of-charge access to a network of 57 research facilities across Europe.




A new €4.2m cross-border project aiming to boost the marine energy industry in Wales and Ireland has been launched by Lesley Griffiths AM, the Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

Selkie is funded by the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme and is led by MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine hosted by University College Cork in partnership with Swansea University, Marine Energy Wales, Menter Môn, DP Energy Ireland and Dublin-based Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions.

The project will see the development of a streamlined commercialisation pathway for the marine energy industry by establishing a cross-border network of developers and supply chain companies in Ireland and Wales. Multi-use technology tools and models will be created and trialled on pilot projects before being shared across the sector.

The aim is to utilise the expertise from academics and industry across both nations to address the challenges facing the industry.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment in Ireland, Richard Bruton TD, said: “Ireland’s Climate Action Plan published earlier this year sets out the necessary policy measures to ensure Ireland meets it’s 2030 targets, putting us on a clear pathway to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Cutting our reliance on fossil fuel and transitioning to renewable energy is a key part of the Plan. By 2030, 70% of Ireland’s electricity will be generated from renewable sources. 

Both Ireland and Wales have large wave and tidal resources, which have the potential to contribute significantly to this transition. I am pleased to support the Selkie Project under the Ireland-Wales cross-border programme with the ultimate aim of facilitating Irish and Welsh SMEs within the sector to progress along the pathway to commercialisation.”

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs in Wales, Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Wales has enormous potential to deliver sustainable marine energy thanks to the natural resources we are blessed with. Establishing a cross-border network of developers and supply chain companies in Ireland will further strengthen this industry and allow us to be at the forefront of utilising green energy.

“This project will only strengthen the industry’s ability to push down costs and make it competitive, as well as providing the evidence required by UK Government that the industry is ready for full commercialisation.”

Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles AM, who is responsible for the delivery of EU funding within Wales, said; “Bringing together expertise from Wales and Ireland is vital if we’re going to meet the shared challenges and opportunities from our Irish Sea border including the potential to generate clean energy.

“Our relationship with Ireland is very important, so I’m delighted to see our two nations working together on such an important global priority.”

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., who has overall policy responsibility for EU Structural Funds in Ireland said: “I am very pleased to welcome a further project under the Ireland-Wales cross-border programme.

It is a perfect example of the type of synergies that can be leveraged by third level institutions and businesses working in close co-operation and developing innovative and sustainable solutions to meet the energy challenges of the future. I would like to acknowledge and commend the efforts of all involved from University College Cork, Swansea University, and a consortium of businesses and leaders in the renewable energy sector.”


If you would like to find out more about Selkie or would like to register your interest to be involved in one of the pilot projects, please contact TJ Horgan, University College Cork:


EWTEC Conference A Huge Success


With over 500 delegates in attendance and over 100 papers presented, the EWTEC Conference hosted by MaREI was a massive success. Congratulations to all involved. Take a look at some of the highlights here.

Big Week on the Farm

Featuring MaREI &ERI’s Shane McDonagh


CREDENCE is the first funded C2C project focusing on the energy sector, exploring two key dimensions of the shift to a renewable based energy system, namely to what extent will energy systems be:

Electrified (exploring how much of our future heat and transport energy needs will be met with electricity as opposed to other options, i.e. fossil or renewable fuelled heat and transport)

Decentralised (i.e. decentralised system operation), and what are the optimal levels of decentralization for future energy systems)



What each partner brings

Each of the three project partners brings a significantly unique perspective to the problem at hand.

The perspectives of each Centre, combined with the regional differences of the three, provide the opportunity for major transformations in the nature of the energy marketplace. MaREI provides experience in central control of large-scale intermittent renewable resources, long-term energy systems modelling and in socio-economic aspects of the energy system transformation through collaboration with Economic Social Research Institute (ESRI). FREEDM provides wide area, distributed control of small-scale distributed intermittent renewable resources. EPIC in QUB provides expertise in wider scale issues of communications and the interactions between various fuel marketplaces. Each of the three brings significant partnerships to readily integrate market information and data, while also rapidly deploying new information allowing for widespread change in thought across the industry.

Key outcomes

  • Provision of a critical roadmap for utilities, policymakers and regulators to tackle the problem of upgrading the utility grid to a robust highly electrified and decentralized system
  • Training of a new generation of engineers, computer scientists and economists for the changing utility marketplace
  • Creation of a new dialogue for the research community on the sophisticated interaction between the four critical elements to changing the utility
  • Creation of a longstanding dialogue between US and European research and utility communities
  • Provision of a deep and meaningful relationship between FREEDM, MaREI and QUB


CREDENCE project can be found here


San Marcos project meeting

The Spanish Armada Heritage Project Meeting at UL

The MMRRC team hosted a meeting to discuss the San Marcos Project, focused on the Spanish Armada shipwrecks.

MaREI Citizen Science Project Launched on BBC Autumnwatch

Collaborative citizen science project ‘Seabirdwatch’ launched to help monitor declining seabird populations…

MaREI and ICORSA are awarded €4.5m EU funding for two ambitious Horizon 2020 projects

After two decades of European initiatives to promote “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI) in academia, R&D organisations and industrial research, this summer, MaREI, the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy at University College Cork and ICORSA (International Consortium of Researcher Staff Associations) have won two Horizon 2020 projects, collectively worth €4.5 million to research, develop and implement RRI.


The first project RRING, which stands for ‘Responsible Research and Innovation Networking Globally’ will see MaREI together with ICORSA, UNESCO and 20 other international partners tasked with developing a set of internationally approved guidelines, that promote RRI in all spheres globally.


RRING will aim to ensure that research worldwide adheres to a set of principles that ensures all future research is conducted in a sustainable and ethical way, good for society, and good for communities of people globally. The project will develop policy guidelines and standards to ensure research and innovation standards align with, for example, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as ethically agreed standards worldwide.


The EU has five priority areas (better known as ‘pillars’ or ‘keys’) they wish to promote in relation to RRI principles. These are: gender, science education, public inclusive engagement, ethics, open access with governance as the overarching key. The objective of RRING is to compare RRI practices in other regional locations worldwide with the 5 European RRI keys, with the aim of informing the European Commission of best practice.


Finally, RRING intends, as a tangible output, to create a global RRI network, which will be the sustainable vehicle for continued advancement of adopting RRI principles within all areas of endeavour. ICoRSA will lead the development of this global initiative, ensuring that researchers at all times have a voice in the development of this important initiative and network.


The second project GRRIP (Grounding RRI practices in research performing organisations) will focuses on creating RRI action plans for 5 marine and maritime research institutions. MaREI will be one of the recipient institutions of such a plan (the first in Ireland), as well as 4 other European marine and maritime institutions.  The MaREI case study will be a template for other institutions in Ireland to adopt and will pay particular attention to public engagement in all stages of governance (from RRI strategy creation to implementation and evaluation). It is anticipated that inclusive engagement will increase innovation in terms of co-creation and social innovation. This is an ambitious project, but one that UCC’s MaREI is proud to develop and lead.

Professor Alistair Borthwick awarded ICE Gold Medal

Professor Alistair Borthwick awarded ICE Gold Medal for lifetime contribution to civil engineering education

The School of Engineering’s Professor Alistair Borthwick FICE, FREng, FRSE has been presented with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Gold Medal for his lifetime contribution to civil engineering education, training and mentoring.

A Gold Medal is awarded annually by the ICE to recognise individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the civil engineering profession over many years. Professor Borthwick received the honour at the ICE Awards ceremony in London on Friday 4 October 2019.

Professor Borthwick’s career has spanned civil, coastal and offshore engineering across industry and academia. He is recognised as a world authority on environmental fluid mechanics and has particular expertise in river basin management, coastal and offshore processes, water and wastewater treatment, and marine renewable energy.

He joined the University of Edinburgh as Professor of Applied Hydrodynamics in 2013, is also Emeritus Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and holds honorary professorships at Peking University, NUI Galway, University College Cork, Wuhan University, China University of Geosciences, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. During his time at University College Cork, he helped establish the SFI Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre.

Professor Borthwick’s nomination was supported by academics representing the University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, University of Plymouth, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Peking University. Describing Professor Borthwick as “the leading educator in civil engineering hydraulics of his generation”, the nomination notes his excellence in research and innovation, coupled with a dedication to educating the next generation of civil engineers on an international scale.

Over the course of his career, Professor Borthwick has employed 22 research assistants, supervised 61 doctoral and 7 MSc students, several of whom have gone on to train future talent themselves including seven full Professors, one Reader, two Associate Professors, and five Lecturers. In addition, he has acted as an internal and external examiner to a further 67 PhD and 6 MSc students worldwide, and mentored countless junior colleagues at the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, Cork and Peking.

Professor Borthwick has also contributed his expertise to several bodies supporting young civil engineers, including the Steering Committee of the UK Young Coastal Sciences and the Engineers Conference, and to outreach committees in the Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Edinburgh and the ICE.

Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, noted Professor Borthwick’s multidimensional contribution to civil engineering, commenting that “he has excelled in education, mentoring and research whilst maintaining and developing deep relevance to industrial applications – a difficult challenge, consummately achieved.”

Supporting the nomination, the School’s Professor Jane Smallman described Professor Borthwick’s “ability to build communities and provide unconditional support to talented early-career researchers and educators, especially where talent that has not yet been recognised, is from a non-traditional background, or has faced setbacks.”

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the University of Plymouth’s School of Engineering attested to Professor Borthwick’s “significant impact on many hundreds of students who have gone on to work as civil engineers and conduct civil engineering research that has had global impact.”

Professor Ton van den Bremer, who was mentored by Professor Borthwick at the University of Edinburgh and continues to be mentored by him as a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at the University of Oxford said: “Alistair’s steadfast commitment to advancing the careers of his students and junior colleagues make him an example to anyone supervising students or building a research team.”

Commenting on the ICE’s decision to present Professor Borthwick with the Gold Medal Award, ICE Vice President Rachel Skinner and Chair of the ICE Awards Committee said: “Professor Alistair Borthwick has had a sizeable impact on the profession through his research and his work as an educator. His role in the training of future generations in civil engineering is very impressive, with his alumni now forming a global community of researchers, academics and practitioners.

“We consider Alistair to be a very worthy recipient for the Gold Medal and are pleased to be able to recognise him for his outstanding, sustained contribution to the profession.”

UCC Alumni launches new book on Marine Geomorphology

UCC Alumni Darius Bartlett launches new book in the UCC ERI Beaufort Building: ‘Geoinformatics for Marine and Coastal Management’

MaREI Researchers Take Part In Sprint Programme


Gerry Sutton, MaREI Research Centre; Dr Anne Moore, UCC School of Pharmacy and Dr Michael O’Connor, MaREI Research Centre (All participants on the SPRINT Programme)


The Sprint accelerator programme at UCC’s Gateway innovation hub is celebrating its second year with a new cohort of potential startups.

A new batch of 12 ideas are taking part in Sprint II, the accelerator programme at Gateway, the innovation hub of University College Cork.

The chosen participants are developing services for a number of industries and issues, including infant neurology, irritable bowel syndrome, renewable energy, data analytics and scientific instrumentation.

Established as a support programme for spin-out and researcher-led UCC start-ups seeking accommodation in the Gateway hub, Sprint’s second coming was revealed on 5th May by Prof Patrick O’Shea, president of the university.

“Research in our technology centres and institutes is delivering valuable and novel solutions to many of the issues we face today,” said Myriam Cronin, manager of Gateway UCC.

“Supporting innovators from idea generation to start-up, with a particular focus on commercialisation of research, has been key to the success of Gateway UCC, now recognised as a leading innovation and incubation centre nationally.

“Following the success of Sprint, we have adapted and grown the accelerator programme this year, and we are delighted to announce a second programme.”

Since opening in 2011, Gateway UCC claims that the start-ups that have come through its hub – numbered in the 40s – now employ 250 people and contribute an estimated €15m in wages and €5m in tax to the local economy.

Calling it a “true example of the ‘triple helix’ at work”, O’Shea lauded the coming together of academia, government and industry, before highlighting the effectiveness of Sprint by lauding last year’s stand-out participant.

O’Shea presented the an award to medical device start-up Skellig Surgical, which focuses on the development of user-centred, minimally invasive technology. The company made news in January when its first commercial product – designed to manipulate organs that obscure and limit the ability to perform keyhole surgery – was licensed.

O’Shea also presented an award to Food Choice at Work, a start-up developing a management system for healthy eating in the workplace. Both companies are resident in Gateway UCC, employing 12 people between them.

MaREI to lead €10.5m EU marine renewable energy project

The EU MaRINET2 initiative aims to accelerate the development of offshore renewable energy technologies and infrastructure…

Drone & Tech Expo Ireland

Drone & Tech Expo Ireland

Drone & Tech Expo Ireland took place in Dublin this weekend, 10-12 March 2017. We have enjoyed discussing drones with both professionals and general public.

Dingle IOThon

Dingle IOThon

MMRRC researchers participated in the Dingle IOThon event, focused on exploring the challenges and opportunities of the Internet of Things (IOT).

MaREI to Coordinate €2m EU Project Marinerg-i

Distributed Testing Infrastructures United To Create An Integrated Centre For Delivering Offshore Renewable Energy

MaREI Green Gas Position Paper Launched

MaREI have released a new position paper outlining the benefits and prospects of Green Gas. Find out more here.

MaREI researchers amongst those most cited worldwide

MaREI director Professor Jerry Murphy and researcher Prof Henry Curran were ranked amongst the most cited researchers worldwide according to ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016…

MaREI Researcher Author on New Publication on Marine Spatial Planning for Fisheries & Aquaculture

Anne Marie O’Hagan is one of the authors of a new publication on MSP for enhanced fisheries & aquaculture sustainability in the Near East

UCC’s Environmental Research Institute engages with climate change NGOs on future energy modelling scenarios

Non-governmental organisations visit UCC’s ERI recently for a stakeholder engagement event on climate change

International Energy Conference in Ireland Walks the Walk on Climate Action

The first week of June in 2016 bore witness to the 35th annual International Energy Workshop (IEW) hosted in Ireland’s own University College Cork.

Launch of Strategic Roadmap for Ocean Energy

The ‘Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap’, produced by the Ocean Energy Forum, was recently launched to identify the challenges facing the sector on its path to commercial readiness and to identify solutions to overcome them.

Different Perspectives on the Energy Transition

The Environmental Research Institute hosted a joint seminar with the University of FH Burgenland, Austria on Friday, November 4th on Different Perspectives on the Energy Transition.

Carbon tax and Budget 2017

Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir examines how the Government could demonstrate a commitment to climate action and have more money to spend on budget day.

Wave Energy MaREI

Multi-Million Euro Ocean Energy Project Coordinated By MaREI Researchers At UCC

MaREI announces the kick-off of a multi-million euro technology development project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme…

TG4 interviews MaREI Researcher at Cork Science Festival

MaREI researchers took part in the Celebrate Science Open Day at UCC on Sunday Nov 13th as part of the Cork Science Festival…

CREDENCE Project Funding Announcement at SFI Science Summit

Science Foundation Ireland and the National Science Foundation in the US announced an award of €2m in funding for a renewable energy research project that will be undertaken by MaREI…

MaREI at family events during Cork Science Festival

Its that time again, Cork Science Festival returns. This year is bigger and better than ever, with MaREI involved in two day events, suitable for all the family…

Cork Climathon 2016 Launched

The ERI and Energy Cork have launched the 2016 Cork Climathon to take place on the 28th October in Cork.

Comanche ROV

MMRRC at UL purchased a new Remotely Operated Vehicle under the MaREI SFI grant

MMRRC at UL, has purchased a new ROV, and associated launch and recovery systems, under a MaREI SFI infrastructure grant.

OceanEd to provide courses to the Marine Renewable Energy Industry

MaREI will host two free Ocean Energy courses for the Marine Renewable Energy industry on October 17th and November 14th 2016…

Floating wind turbine undergoes extreme testing in Irelands’ National Ocean Test Facility

Floating wind turbine undergoes extreme testing in Irelands’ National Ocean Test Facility

MaREI Signs MOU with Zhejiang University (July 22nd, 2015)

A delegation from the prestigious Zhejiang University, which included their Vice President and Director of the Institute for Thermal Energy, visited MaREI’s new headquarters at the Beaufort Building…

MaREI and MARINET Represented at ICOE 2016 (23rd-25th February, 2016)

MAREI and MARINET are delighted to support the 6th International Conference on Ocean Energy 2016 (ICOE 2016), held from 23rd-25th February at the EICC Edinburgh.

Climate Adaptation Workshops

The Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy are running a series of regional adaptation training workshops in September and October for Local Authority staff…

MaREI students win awards at Civil Engineering Research Conference

MaREI students win awards at the Civil Engineering Research in Ireland 2016 (CERI2016) hosted at NUI Galway…

MaREI scientist travels to the Arctic to monitor sea bird colonies

Seabird colonies extending from Ireland’s Skellig Michael up to the Arctic are being monitored with time-lapse cameras as part of an international project on climate change.

5 Questions on Climate Change

Professor John Sodeau discusses climate change and what Ireland can do to play its part in the fight against the phenomenon termed global warming…

MaREI’s Prof. Tony Lewis Honoured at Symposium (March 1st, 2016)

Global leaders in the field of marine renewable energy were in Cork on February 29th and March 1st to attend a 2-day symposium in honour of the ‘father of ocean energy’, MaREI’s Prof. Tony Lewis.

NTR Foundation and MaREI to Collaborate on Low-Carbon Opportunities (April 5th, 2016)

MaREI has secured €750,000 in philanthropic funding from the NTR Foundation to facilitate research on opportunities presented by transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

MaREI Researchers Guide Local Authorities’ Climate Adaptation Plans

The Environmental Protection Agency launched the publication of Guidelines for Planning for Climate Change adaptation for Local Authorities on May 26th.

Commissioning of Wave Tanks

The largest wave tank at the Lir National Ocean Test Facility was commissioned for operational use on Monday, April 25th. It was the first time that a 1 m high wave was generated in the tank.

Beaufort Building to Officially Open (July 3rd, 2015)

MaREI’s new headquarters at University College Cork’s (UCC) Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, will officially open on the 11th July 2015…

Discover Oceans of Energy

The MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy hosted a festival ‘discovery day’ event on Sunday, June 5th as part of the Cork Harbour Open Festival…

NUIG hosts MaREI Symposium on Marine and Renewable Energy

Experts from across Ireland gathered at NUI Galway in May for a symposium on ‘Research, Development and Innovation in Marine and Renewable Energy in Ireland’. The symposium was hosted by MaREI, Ireland’s Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy.

The demand for energy is growing relentlessly with the pressures of population growth and improved living standards. With a sea to land ratio of over 10:1, Ireland is ideally placed to address this challenge through our marine and renewable energy resources.

The main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the marine and energy spaces were discussed at the event. It provides an opportunity for researchers to disseminate their research, identify further opportunities for collaboration and discuss the future direction of marine and renewable energy in Ireland.

Professor Jerry Murphy, interim director of MaREI, said MaREI’s strategy is aligned to national priorities and international roadmaps in marine and renewable energy and Ireland’s transition to a low carbon energy future.

“MaREI research achieves high impact by ensuring relevance and accessibility to academia, industry and policy makers. One of MaREI’s great strengths is its multidisciplinary approach to research and its engagement with stakeholders. By working collaboratively across all MaREI’s six institutions and with its 46 industry partners, it is possible to assemble the skill sets needed for impactful research,” he said.

“The investment in world-class research facilities in Ireland for ocean energy is hugely important to bringing technology to market and helping Ireland to develop an export market for Ocean Energy Technologies,” said Dr Jamie Goggins, chairperson of the symposium and senior lecturer at NUI Galway.

“The recent State investment in the full scale structural testing facility for tidal turbine blades here at NUI Galway along with the one-quarter scale ocean energy test site and Ocean Observatory in Galway Bay position Ireland at the forefront of testing and development of ocean energy devices,” he added.

MaREI’s industry-led research programme provides innovative solutions that reduce the time to market, and reduce costs to a competitive level.

The Centre has built upon the excellent track record of well-established marine and energy-based research groups across each of its academic partners, covering a wide range of cross-cutting topics across these spaces, including device design and modelling, energy conversion and storage, novel materials and structural testing, operations and decision support, energy policy and modelling, and environmental monitoring.

MaREI is coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork and has 130 researchers working across six academic institutions collaborating with over 45 industry partners.

MaREI Awarded Over €4m in SFI Infrastructure Funding

MaREI have been awarded over €4m in grants for research equipment and facilities from the SFI Infrastructure fund for an Open Ocean Emulator (OOE) at UCC and a Marine Renewable Energy Remotely Operated Vehicle (MRE-ROV) at UL. This infrastructure funding was awarded competitively following rigorous international review to research groups where the research equipment and facilities are required to address major research opportunities and challenges including partnerships with industry.

The Open Ocean Emulator integrates test tank developments, state-of-the-art instrumentation and electrical infrastructure such that to create the most advanced small scale model testing capability worldwide. It will complement existing facilities at the Lir Ocean Test Facility at the UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy and enhance Irelands R&D capacity. The OOE will accurately replicate real ocean wave conditions in a laboratory setting and in combination with the use of advanced instrumentation will improve our understanding on how marine structures, such as wave energy converters, floating wind turbines and tidal energy devices, behave. This advanced testing capability will accelerate the path from technology design to real-world applications and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the offshore renewable energy industry in Ireland.

The MaREI team at UL were awarded close to €2M in funding for an MRE-ROV, a key piece of support infrastructure for the development and testing of wave and tidal energy converters and for research and development of technologies for inspection, repair and maintenance of MRE infrastructure in the challenging high energy off shore conditions at MRE farms.

MaREI Phd student wins Eirgrid Sustainable Energy Prize

MaREI PhD student Xiufeng Yue has been named UCC’s top Masters graduate in Sustainable Energy by EirGrid…

The Underwater Battle of the Robots

The Irish Naval Service were announced as the winning team of the IMERC Mechathon which took place in the Lir National Ocean Test Facility in the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy…