Professor Paul Taylor

Visiting professor for the COAST Engineering Research Group

Professor Paul Taylor

Present position: Chair in Ocean Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, University of Western Australia

Visiting Professorships at the University of Oxford and the University of Plymouth

At UWA, I provide technical guidance to the hydrodynamics research group, part of the Oceans Graduate School. The group is supported by industry – Shell, Woodside, Lloyds Register and Bureau Veritas – as well as by the Australian Research Council and the State Government of Western Australia.

In my Visiting Professor position at the University of Plymouth, I provide advice to PhD students, give research talks, help develop research proposals, and more generally act as an advocate for the University. From UWA we have participated in several wave energy test campaigns in the COAST Lab Ocean basin, and I have a long-term collaboration with Prof. Raby on coastal wave modelling.

My current research covers four main areas: wave-structure interactions for offshore renewable energy (wave loads on fixed and motions of floating offshore wind turbines, and wave power – environmental characterisation and machine behaviour), wave-structure interaction on deep water (greenwater on deck for FPSOs, gap resonance effects for FLNG), wave modelling at the coast (wave-by-wave prediction and Boussinesq modelling) and the properties of extreme waves on the open sea (physics and statistics of nonlinear wave-wave interactions).

My first position was as a research engineer in Shell, initially working on safety-related topics related to the handling of flammable hydrocarbons: accidental explosions, flame acceleration in congested areas, blast wave propagation, etc. Then, with Shell I moved into offshore engineering R&D: wave mechanics and extreme environmental loading on offshore structures. Next, I moved to the University of Oxford, where I spent 20 years as a University Lecturer and then a Professor in Engineering Science, and as a Fellow at Keble College.

In Oxford I taught structural and fluid mechanics, introductory offshore and coastal engineering, and mathematical methods. I supervised over 20 graduate students and post-docs, several of whom are now professors at UK universities and elsewhere. We published papers in the general area of engineering mechanics – in offshore and coastal engineering, fundamental fluid mechanics, wave mechanics and the statistical analysis of field and laboratory data. The Oxford research group attracted funding from the EPSRC, EU and industry.

While in Oxford, I held a visiting professorship at the National University of Singapore. We worked on a major initiative to improve the classical Morison equation for the design and re-assessment of fixed steel jacket offshore structures in waves and current. This work has been reported in a long series of journal papers, for this we received the Institution of Engineers Singapore – IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award in 2015.

Examples of recent publications

Chen, L.F., Taylor, P.H., Ning, D., Cong, P.W., Wolgamot, H., Draper, S., Cheng, L. Extreme runup events around a ship-shaped FPSO in transient wave groups (2021) J. Fluid Mechanics 911, A40.

Tang, T., Xu, W., Barratt, D., Bingham, H.B., Taylor, P.H., van den Bremer, T. S. and Adcock, T.A.A. Long-time evolution of the kurtosis and average shape of unidirectional random waves (2021) Journal of Fluid Mechanics 908, A3.

Barratt, D., Bingham, H.B., Li. Y., Taylor, P.H., van den Bremer, T. S. and Adcock, T.A.A. Rapid spectral evolution of steep surface wave groups with directional spreading (2021) Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 907, A30.

Wang, H., Draper, S., Draper, S., Zhao, W., Taylor, P.H. Experimental and numerical study of free-surface wave resonance in the gap between two parallel boxes with square corners (2020) Appl. Ocean Res. 104, 102376.

Santo, H., Taylor, P.H., Dai, S.S., Day, A.H., Chan, E.S. Wave-in-deck experiments with focussed waves into a solid deck (2020) J. Fluids and Structures, 98, 103139.

Feng, X., Taylor, P.H., Dai, S.S., Day, A.H., Willden, R.J., Adcock, T.A.A. Experimental investigation of higher harmonic wave loads and moments on a vertical cylinder by a phase-manipulation method (2020) Coastal Eng., 160, 103747.

Orszaghova, J., Wolgamot, H., Draper, S., Eatock Taylor, R., Taylor, P.H., Rafiee, A. Onset and limiting amplitude of yaw instability of a submerged three-tethered buoy transverse motion instability of a submerged moored buoy (2020) Proc. Royal Society A, 476: 20190762.

Zhao, W., Taylor, P.H., Wolgamot, H.A., Molin, B., Eatock Taylor, R. Group dynamics and wave resonances in a narrow gap: modes and reduced group velocity (2020) Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 883, A22.

Santo, H., Taylor, P.H., Stansby, P.K. The performance of the three-float M4 wave energy converter off Albany, on the south coast of western Australia, compared to Orkney (EMEC) in the U.K. (2020) Renewable Energy, 146, 444-459.