Aug 21 Marine Renewable Energy Seminar

Northwest Maritime Center, Pt. Townsend WA   (view map)




6:00 – An Introduction to Marine Renewable Energy  Presenter – Ben Maurer

Marine renewable energy refers to the conversion of naturally-occurring power in oceans and rivers to forms appropriate for human use, such as electricity. This talk presents an overview of the technologies that make up marine renewable energy and highlights some of the ongoing research in the field. 

6:30 – Tidal Energy Resource Characterization  Presenter – Maricarmen Guerra Paris

As we install new technology in the ocean, we must consider how these devices will impact the ocean environment and the creatures that live in sea. This talk will focus on current research in managing and mitigating the environmental concerns around these devices, as well as which environmental concerns have been addressed to date. 

6:45 – Environmental and Social Considerations  Panelists: Molly Grear, Maricarmen Guerra Paris, Simon Geerloffs

7:15 – Emerging Markets/Small Scale Applications  Presenter – Brian Polagye

While marine energy is often viewed as just one of many options for supplying renewable energy to the national electric grid, there are other emerging markets where it may play a unique role. This talk will explore the potential benefits and challenges of marine energy in situations ranging from remote villages to far-flung charging stations for underwater robots.

7:45 – Facilitated Q&A


Presenter Bios

Ben Maurer, UW Applied Physics LabBen Maurer is a Senior Engineer within the Applied Physical Laboratory and an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington.  His research focuses on the hydrodynamics and system engineering of marine energy systems, particularly at the interfaces of academic, government, and industrial R&D.


Maricarmen Guerra-Paris, UW PhD student
Maricarmen Guerra-Paris is a PhD student at the University of Washington in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and in the Applied Physics Laboratory. Her research focuses in resource characterization and in the effects of energy extraction on streams from field measurements.





Molly Grear, UW PhD student

Molly Grear is a PhD student at the University of Washington in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Her research focuses on how marine mammals may be impacted by installing marine renewable energy.




Simon Geerlofs, Pacific Northwest National LabSimon Geerlofs is an analyst for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, specializing in science and policy communication, coordination, and planning to improve management of marine and freshwater resources. His primary focus at PNNL is sustainable hydropower and ocean renewable energy opportunities in support of the Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Team.





Brian Polagye, Director, UW NNMRECBrian Polagye is the co-Director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center and an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on marine energy systems, seeking to simultaneously reduce their cost and environmental footprint.