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Research group

Ocean Energy

Offshore wind turbines producing renewable and green energy

We bring together experts addressing energy challenges from the perspectives of technology, the environment, society, finance, and policy. Our aim is to unlock the potential of ocean renewable energy.


The Ocean Energy Special Interest Group (SIG) serves as a hub at the University of Southampton for matters related to the role of seas and oceans in decarbonizing the economy. It also helps achieve net-zero goals worldwide.

Research areas

Our topics of interest are centred around technological, environmental, societal, financial, and policy challenges related to:

  • harvesting of renewable energies (eg offshore wind, wave, freestream tidal energy, tidal barrages and floating solar systems)
  • storage and transformation of offshore energy (eg energy islands, H2 creation)
  • sustainable decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructures

Oceans are pivotal in the world strategy to meet the net-zero objectives, by providing abundant and clean sources of renewable energy. However, the full exploitation of this energy resource faces many challenges of diverse nature. These include the harsh offshore environment, sharing the ocean with many stakeholders, and evolving policy and regulations. Most importantly, it is essential to avoid mistakes of the past and wild industrialisation of our seas and oceans.

Vision and aims

Our vision is to bring together people and skills from across the university and many fields of research to develop transdisciplinary approaches for sustainable ocean energy exploitation. We do this through:

  • fostering research collaboration between faculties and fields of research
  • fostering collaboration with non-academic stakeholders and serving as a contact point for ocean energy matters
  • raising awareness of ocean energy challenges and showcasing how the University of Southampton is working to address these challenges through research, knowledge exchange and other means


Our events and opportunities are designed in line with the goals we aim to achieve. They include a combination of internal and external activities, such as:

  • themed workshops or lectures bringing together academic and non-academic partners
  • sandpit activities to lay the foundations of interdisciplinary grant application or paper writing
  • invited lectures on case studies from industry
  • development of educational material or media briefings

To find out more about the Ocean Energy Special Interest Group and what we do, get in touch with group champions Dr Yao Zhang, Dr Luke Myers and Dr Benjamin Cerfontaine.

Join the SMMI Community to sign up to this group, and any others of interest to you.

Research highlights

Making offshore carbon storage safe

A team of researchers in Southampton played a key role in a European project to determine the viability of safely and securely storing carbon offshore.

Optimising power transfer for renewable energy

Our researchers are running a series of projects to optimise the design of marine high voltage cables, used in offshore windfarms, to maximise power transfer and save money.

People, projects and publications


Professor Andrea Russell

Professor of Physical Electrochemistry

Research interests

  • Structure/property relationships in electrocatalysts
  • Development and application of syncrotron based spectroscopic techniques for operando characterisation of electrocatalysts, electrode structures, and electrochemical interfaces
  • Development and application of vibrational spectroscopies (IR and Raman) to study electrochemical interfaces and reactions
Connect with Andrea

Dr Benjamin Cerfontaine

Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

Research interests

  • Offshore renewable energy - wind, tidal and wave
  • Numerical and Physical Modelling of infrastructure for renewable energy
  • Constitutive modelling of geomaterials for cyclic loading

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Benjamin

Professor Bharath Ganapathisubramani

Professor of Experimental Fluid Mechani

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Bharath

Dr Crystal El Safadi

Associate Professor Maritime Archaeology

Research interests

  • Ancient Mediterranean Seafaring
  • Maritime Cultural Heritage
  • Geospatial Data and Mapping

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Crystal

Professor Damon Teagle

Director of SMMI

Research interests

  • • Formation and evolution of the ocean crust
  • • Fluid-rock interactions and Ore mineralisation
  • • Geochemical analysis

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Damon

Professor Fraser Sturt

Deputy Director SMMI

Research interests

  • Maritme Archaeology
  • Geomatics
  • Evaluation methods

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Fraser

Dr George Callender

Lecturer in Electrical & Electronic Eng
Connect with George

Dr Giulia Champion PhD

Research Fellow (Anniversary Fellowship)

Research interests

  • Blue, Energy and Environmental Humanities
  • Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies
  • Marine and Maritime Cultural Productions
Connect with Giulia

Dr Hachem Kassem


Research interests

  • Nearshore hydrodynamics and coastal sediment dynamics
  • Coastal and ocean engineering and flow-structure-seabed-biota interactions
  • Adaptive, nature-inclusive solutions to climate-mediated geohazards, including flooding, erosion and habitat degradation

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Hachem

Related research institutes, centres and groups

Related research institutes, centres and groups

Connect with us


If you're interested in joining us or collaborating, get in touch with the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute.