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The University of Southampton

Dr James Bowker MEng, PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Dr James Bowker's photo

Dr James Bowker is a Senior Research Fellow in Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

His research interests include; wave propulsion, experimental hydrodynamics, seakeeping, dynamic stability and marine renewable energy.

The enormous power of the sea as it is seen in a storm must not cause us to forget that as an energy source it is really very diffuse. To capture such diffuse energy from such a hostile environment demands the highest level of design thinking and a full understanding of the hydrodynamic and engineering problems.

PhD Research

This research, funded by the Lloyd’s Register Education Trust (LRET), focused on the dynamic response of a vessel that is self-propelled by waves using submerged flapping foils. The research culminated in a series of hydrodynamic experiments, the validation of a velocity prediction program (VPP) for a wave propelled vessel, and a series of systematic simulations.

Seakeeping and dynamic stability

This includes the assessment of capsize probability using thousands of time-domain simulations. The theory has been developed by CRN (Cooperative Research for Navies) and is implemented in the software, FREDYN and Lorelei. The methodology can be applied for a wide variety of research topics including but not limited to; environmental factors, operational requirements, ship design, stability criteria, damage stability, time to sink, and real-time simulators.

Wave propulsion and marine renewable energy

From autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) to commercial shipping, there is the ever growing requirement to harness energy from the ambient ocean environment for either fuel efficiency gains, self-propulsion or energy storage. Waves are a prevalent source of ambient ocean energy and often exert large forces on offshore structures and ships. The prospect of converting this energy source into useful work presents a unique challenge. Current research focuses on the use of submerged flapping foils to convert wave energy into propulsive thrust.


MEng, University of Southampton, 2012

PhD, University of Southampton, 2018

Research interests

Wave propulsion, experimental hydrodynamics, seakeeping, dynamic stability and marine renewable energy.

PhD Supervision

Dr Nick Townsend, Dr Mingyi Tan, and Prof. R.A. Shenoi

MPhil/PhD Research

Coupled dynamics of a flapping foil wave powered vessel

Affiliate research groups

SeaTech, CRN

Deliver novel experimental hydrodynamic research for the University and the SeaTech consortium. Specifically, the project aims to complete a series of model scale hydrodynamic experiments that can derive the full scale efficiency gains from the use of bow foils in waves.

Marine Renewable Energy, Wave Energy

Dr James Bowker
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom
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