Adrian Senar, Energy Engineer

I am currently working as an Energy Engineer for Wave Venture, a small wave energy consultancy.  

Whilst I was working on my masters project, I was offered a 30-day internship with the company.  Following this, I was offered my current position, where I have been working ever since on all sorts of projects.  These range from the developing and testing of the Wave Venture own ORE (Offshore Renewable Energy) techno-economic software, to the design of a wave energy powered ocean observing technology.

Career highlights so far?

Probably the most interesting project so far has been the design and construction of a novel wave energy powered ocean observing prototype. I have taken part in the 3D modelling of the concept, as well as the assembly and testing of the first prototype. Such testing was performed in the ocean basin at the University of Plymouth. As well as enjoying the process of the project, it is also a great feeling when an in-house design turns into a working device. It has still been just a year in the professional world after my masters, so more exciting projects are yet to come.

The move to Plymouth

I studied my Bachelor degree at Mondragon University, Spain, were I graduated as an energy engineer. There, I got an overall knowledge of renewable energy, with an emphasis on the electronics side of it. After a couple years working as an engineer, I wanted to specialise in a certain type of renewable energy and study it from another point of view. Marine renewables attracted my attention as a relatively new and upcoming energy source. One of the main reasons I selected Plymouth was the possibility to choose between different modules, giving me the ability to build my own path. It allowed me to undertake an MSc whilst still continuing to develop my engineering background.

Your MSc research project

I focused my project on designing and analysing the implementation of a vertical axis tidal turbine farm in the Faroe Island shelf; a relatively underdeveloped technology in a not yet exploited high tidal resource area. I found the project really interesting, which helped working on it despite the drawbacks due to the COVID pandemic that flared in the early stages of the research. The new situation tweaked some chapters of the project, as lab results were of the table, but the core ideas of the research was maintained. 

Plymouth highlights?

The student to teacher ratio was really high. The lecturers were friendly and in close contact with students. The facilities you use are top level, and apart from the times you will use them during lectures for some kind of coursework, they can be really useful for your dissertation, getting access to high quality data. Something else very useful for your masters project is the agreement the university has with different companies, offering several interesting topics. This agreement may also include some internships, that can introduce you to the labour market; that is after all how I got my current job.

Rather than changing my aspirations, Plymouth shaped them, and opened the doors to the world of offshore renewable energy

Renewable energy is a rapidly growing sector, with offshore wind taking the lead. Both tidal and wave are also developing day by day, and a big market is beginning to bloom, with some large projects on the short-term timeline. Professionals specialised in this sector are highly valued, so undertaking the MSc Offshore Renewable Energy can open many doors.