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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

Mr Oscar Festa MEng

Postgraduate research student

Mr Oscar Festa's photo

Mr. Oscar Festa is a postgraduate research student within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton. Oscar is currently researching novel mooring systems for floating wind facilities as part of the activities of the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies in Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering (IROE).

My research will contribute towards the necessary transition to renewable energy and decarbonisation of the energy sector, through accelerating the feasibility of floating offshore wind

I am a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Warwick, now conducting research on novel mooring systems for floating renewable energy facilities. I am supervised by Professor Susan Gourvenec, Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies in Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering (IROE), and Associate Professors Adam Sobey and Gabe Weymouth, who are co-leads of the Marine and Maritime theme in the Data Centric Engineering Group of The Alan Turing Institute.

Through my PhD research project, I am aiming to determine whether responsive mooring systems can be an effective solution to improve the efficiency of stationkeeping for floating wind facilities.  I am investigating the potential of a ductile mooring system to absorb some of the peak dynamic loading. This could limit the loads that are transferred to the anchor, in turn enabling smaller anchors that are more-cost effective.

As renewable energy structures move into deeper water, the now established fixed foundation concepts must be replaced by anchoring systems. Current mooring systems are designed to resist peak design loads, which can lead to expensive mooring systems. A responsive mooring system can reduce the peak loading transmitted to the anchor enabling smaller anchors that will be more cost effective, but this must be considered alongside increased platform movements. Development of more efficient mooring systems is particularly important for the transition to renewable energy since the lower energy yield per structure compared to oil and gas producing structures requires many hundred more structures to be moored to the seabed for the same total energy yield.

The outcome of this project will be development of an effective responsive mooring system and design methodology to optimize the size of an anchor required for floating wind turbines while ensuring tolerable platform displacements. The design method will rely on machine learning techniques to assist in optimization of the complex system.

Research interests

Responsive mooring systems for floating renewable energy facilities

Funding: Royal academy of engineering

PhD supervision: Prof Susan Gourvenec


Research group

Sustainable Energy

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Mr Oscar Festa
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

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