Mr. Oscar Festa is a postgraduate research student within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton. His research focuses on optimisation of stationkeeping systems for floating offshore wind turbines.
He is supervised by Professor Susan Gourvenec, Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies in Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering (IROE), and Professors Adam Sobey, who leads the Data Centric Engineering Group of The Alan Turing Institute.
- Mooring systems for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines (FOWTs)
- Load reduction devices (LRDs) for FOWT mooring systems
- Optimisation of compliant mooring systems
- Machine learning-based design optimisation
- Dynamic modelling of FOWTs
As renewable energy structures move into deeper water, the now established fixed foundation concepts must be replaced by mooring and anchoring systems. Mooring and anchoring systems are designed to resist peak design loads, which can lead to stiff, heavy and expensive designs. Development of more efficient mooring systems is particularly important for the transition to renewable energy, since the low energy yield per structure (compared to oil and gas systems) requires many structures to be moored to the seabed.
Extensible, non-linear load reduction devices (LRDs) can add compliance to the mooring system, reducing the peak loading transmitted to the anchor enabling smaller, cheaper anchors and a reduced mooring footprint. However, this must be considered alongside increased platform movements.
The outcome of Oscar's research project will be the development of a compliant mooring system design methodology to optimize the material cost of mooring and anchoring systems 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.
Oscar completed his undergraduate degree at Warwick University, graduating in 2019 with an MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the University of Southampton for his PhD in September 2020.