Dr Richard Pemberton

Dr Richard Pemberton

Lecturer in Mechanical and Marine Engineering Design

School of Engineering (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


After completing his Ph.D. on System Identification in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in 2003, Richard joined GBR Challenge America’s Cup yacht racing team as a design analyst. Since then he was worked as a designer or technical consultant to sailors and yacht racing teams in many of the major competitions within the sport, such as: The America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Vendee Globe race,Olympics and the World Speed Sailing Record.

Before joining Plymouth University, Richard worked as a consultant Naval Architect both in a self-employed capacity and at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics. In these roles Richard achieved Chartered Engineer status with RINA, and gained a wide range of experience in the following areas:

Project List:

  •  Sailing and Motor Yacht Design and Performance Prediction including hull form optimisation using CFD.
  • Model and full scale experimental tests on sailing yachts, motor boats and hovercraft.
  • Yacht structural analysis for inclusion as appendix in Marine Accident Investigation Branch report.
  • Winning TSB grant funding for collaborative research project with two industrial partners (High Efficiency Work Vessel: a 10m containerised catamaran work boat utilising high power diesel outboards).
  • Electronics: Development of control and logging software for underwater towed array.
  • Assisting aircraft operators in achieving EASA certification for modifications to existing aircraft.
  • General Hydrodynamic Performance Prediction.
  • Vessel Stability.

Professional membership


Research interests

CFD, System Identification Techniques, Marine Design, ExperimentalMethods & Techniques and Composite Manufacture for the marine applications.