Research project tribute to Ian
A new renewable energy research initiative has been named in memory of a pioneering expert in the field.
Funding from the European Union worth €9.3 million has been awarded for a centre that will support cross-border research into marine renewable energy in Ireland and Scotland.
Known as the ‘Bryden Centre for Advanced Marine and Bio-Energy Research’, it will be named after the late Professor Ian Bryden, who spent five years with Orkney’s International Centre for Island Technology and 10 years on the board of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The centre’s work will focus on the use of tidal power at Strangford Lough and the north Antrim coast, ocean energy sites in Scotland, and the potential for wave and tidal power generation in Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
The funding has been awarded to Queen’s University Belfast, which will work with a number of cross-border partners including the University of the Highlands and Islands, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, Donegal County Council, and Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The centre’s name is a tribute to the dedication of the Professor Bryden, who was a leading expert in marine renewable energy, with a 30 year research career in fields associated with energy and hydrodynamics.
Combined with his work as Vice-Principal (Research) at the University of the Highlands and Islands, he played an instrumental role in developing the project that now bears his name.
Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.
Thirty four PhD students and six post-doctoral research associates will be involved in producing industry relevant research that has the potential for strong commercial benefit.
Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said: "The project involves practical cross border cooperation, which will benefit colleges and companies from both jurisdictions.
“Advanced research on renewable energy is a very worthwhile project and this work will contribute many benefits, including a long term legacy for the future."
A spokesperson for the Department for the Economy said: “This is an exciting and innovative project to explore the potential of renewable energy with benefits for this region and beyond.
“Collaboration between industry and academia will be critical in ensuring success. The new centre will enhance the commercial potential in this area and contribute to economic growth.”
Professor Bryden’s long involvement with marine renewable energy began in 1980 when, as a PhD student, he worked with members of the University of Edinburgh Wave Energy Group, which was led by Stephen Salter, regarded by many as the ‘Father of Wave Energy’.
The newly announced funding is from the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme.