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Dr Andrew McCabe

Andrew McCabe

Research overview

Andy is a founding member of the Wave Energy Converter Array Network (WECAN), an international association of researchers from both academia and industry, and aims to carry out research in the next few years investigating the behaviour of arrays of wave energy converters, concentrating on novel control and design methods, and computationally efficient modelling and simulation techniques.

Career Details

Dr. Andy McCabe was appointed as a lecturer in the Engineering Department in December 2011, after working as a postdoctoral research associate for several years on a number of projects associated with marine renewable energy. Having obtained a first-class MEng (hons) degree in Mechatronics from Lancaster University Engineering Department in 1997 and an MSc in Digital Signal Processing in Communications Systems from the Communications Systems Department in 2001, the intervening years were taken up with research for a PhD with the Systems and Control Group of the Environmental Science Department, investigating the use of the (linear) PIP control design method with non-linear systems. doctoral graduation also came in 2001. Following graduation and a short time in teaching, Andy was employed as a research associate. The first project involved assessing the prospects of the floating, offshore wave energy converter (P.S. Frog). The next project was part of the first phase of the EPSRC-funded SuperGen Marine Research Consortium, on Work Package 2, “Development of Methodologies for Device Evaluation and Optimization”. This work involved the development of a method of deriving time-domain models of floating bodies using commercially-available software. These models can be implemented in a more convenient form for dynamic analysis and control design, and allow the creation of non-linear computer simulations of wave energy converters. Such simulations were used in work carried out for the EU Coordinated Action on Ocean Energy and for the SuperGen Marine Work Package 7 (Lifetime Economics) to estimate the power output of devices in site-specific wave conditions, subject to constraints on movement and different control strategies. In 2007 Andy was appointed as named researcher on the second phase of the SuperGen Marine Research Consortium, Work Stream 2, “Optimization of collector form and response”. The project looked to develop a systematic approach to optimizing the shape of wave energy collectors, as free of preconception and intervention as possible. A leading role was taken in the development of a method which uses a genetic algorithm employing novel parametric descriptions of the collector geometry and computationally efficient cost functions. This research programme concluded in September 2011.

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