Photo of Dr Helen C M Smith

Dr Helen C M Smith

Lecturer (Education & Research) in Renewable Energy


Telephone: 01326 254186

Dr Helen Smith is a lecturer in renewable energy, with a primary research focus on resource assessment for marine energy developments. Her main area of interest is the application and development of numerical wave models for both resource prediction and assessment of potential impacts due to marine energy devices, plus wider applications such as marine aquaculture. Her work also contributes to the other research activity in the Offshore Renewable Energy group, which includes hydrodynamics and marine operations, and offshore reliability.

Helen is currently working in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories to support the development and validation of SNL-SWAN, an open source wave energy converter array simulation tool. Other recent projects include the NERC-funded EBAO (‘Optimising Array Form for Energy Extraction and Environmental Benefit’), developing robust modelling methodologies that could be embedded into the marine energy project design cycle in order to further protect the natural environment, and a Scottish National Heritage-funded investigation into the risk of entanglement of marine megafauna in marine energy device infrastructure.

Helen has also worked on a number of other European and TSB-funded projects including MERiFIC (‘Marine Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities’), MARINET (‘Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network’), and EquiMar (‘Equitable Assessment of Marine Energy Converters’), a three-year FP7 project which brought together a range of industrial and research partners from across Europe to develop protocols for all aspects of marine energy development. She is a member of the PRIMaRE research consortium, a network of research institutions in SW England undertaking research and development activities to support and advance the marine renewable energy industry at a regional, national and international level.

Helen teaches on the undergraduate Clean Energy programme, leading modules on ‘Applied Computing for Energy Studies’ and ‘Marine Renewable Energy’. She contributes to the Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE), where she leads the ‘Marine Renewable Resource Assessment’ module and acts as primary/secondary academic supervisor for five EngD research engineers. She is primary supervisor for three PhD and EngD students, Jon Hardwick, David Haverson and Robert Clayton, who are working on projects addressing wave-current interaction, impacts of tidal energy development in Ramsey Sound, and addressing uncertainties in tidal energy resource assessment.

Helen completed her PhD at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus, entitled 'Modelling for resource and environmental impact assessments of wave farms'. She also holds an MSc in Hydrography from Plymouth University and a BA in Physics from the University of Oxford.

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