Queens University Belfast
Queen's University, Belfast is internationally recognised for
its research excellence. Our Oyster wave power technology
originated from research conducted at the university. We continue
to work in close partnership with a specialist team based at the
university's Environmental Engineering Research Centre (EERC).
The Centre is led by Trevor Whittaker, Professor of Coastal
Engineering and a recognised leader in the field of wave
Professor Whittaker was one of the pioneers in the design and
installation of both the UK's first and second grid-connected wave
power plant on the Isle of Islay in Scotland in the 1980s and
In 2001 Professor Whittaker's team began to research flap-type
wave power devices with a view to reducing the cost of
energy. This research ultimately led to the development of
Oyster, a new kind of wave power technology designed to take
advantage of the amplification surge wave forces in the nearshore
region. Aquamarine Power was set up to develop the Oyster device
commercially. We now have a five-year research collaboration
agreement with Queen's University, Belfast.
We have four permanent members of staff based within the EERC at
Queen's University, Belfast, two of whom obtained their PhDs under
Professor Trevor Whittaker. We also fund a post-doctoral
researcher, two PhD students and a technician within the group.
Professor Whittaker's team has conducted much of the physical
model testing of Oyster at 40th to 25th scale at the world-class
tank testing facilities at Queen's University, Belfast. We also
utilise Queen's University Marine Laboratory at Portaferry.
These facilities allow us to test large arrays of Oysters in more
complex sea states.
The focus of the research group at Queen’s University, Belfast is research excellence towards commercial development. Our work with Aquamarine Power on the development of Oyster is a prime example of this.Trevor Whittaker, Professor of Coastal Engineering
Queen's University, Belfast