UMERC 2023 Conference

The first part of October saw me travel to Durham, New Hampshire with Nils for the University Marine Energy Research Community 2023 Conference. The last time I was at UNH was for tank testing during the pandemic, so it was nice to see a more lively campus this time. As expected the Atlantic Marine Energy Center (AMEC) and Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET) were excellent hosts for the event.

Before making our way to UNH, Nils and I stopped in Boston for a tour of PTC arranged by Philip Bard. Philip graduated from the Applied Energy and Electromechanical Engineering program several years back and has been creating awesome demos that show the interoperability of PTC products that are used across the globe.

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INDEEP Success

Water Bros Desal has branched out with another successful American-Made Challenge on Herox. This topic is still focused on marine energy, but a shift from the desalination work we did in the Waves to Water Competition. In this competition, Landon and I partnered with Michael Dickey at NC State University, who has done some exciting work with deformable double layer electrodes. These electrodes could be the special ingredient that powers distributed embedded energy converter technologies in the future. We are excited about the prospects for the technology and the chance to work with another NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program researcher.

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Giving thanks for Nils

A crazy Fall schedule that included a fair bit of travel has me behind on posting to the website, but the Thanksgiving holiday is an appropriate time for a post about Nils Horneff. Nils joined Water Bros Desal in April as an engineering research assistant from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany. He came with a strong background in numerical modeling that we wanted to leverage to improve the rigor of our wave energy converter (WEC) modeling.

Within a couple of weeks of his arrival, we had him helping craft responses to reviewer queries on our proposal to the Department of Energy for a 4-year project to do long-duration testing of a ruggedized version of our Waves to Water design. Beyond the WEC modeling work, Nils was also great a disseminating our work through technical conferences like the Appalachian Energy Summit in Boone, NC and the University Marine Energy Research Community conference in Durham, New Hampshire. I even had him pop in as a fresh set of eyes and technical consultant on my North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program projects.

Landon and I are thankful for the technical contributions that Nils made and the friendships that developed before Nils returned to Germany in the middle of October.

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End of Summer Students/Alumni Gathering

We were glad to host students and research group alumni for food and games to welcome a new crop of research assistants before Nils has to head back to Germany at the end of September. This time I actually managed to capture a few pictures and one humorous exchange over the gaming table….

Student 1: This game is purely random.
Student 2: If it is random, why do the people with PhDs have most of the chips?

Nils, Naomi, Jack, Bradley, and Mackay in the foreground. Research alums and guests in the back.
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Hank Wolfe drops in

Water Bros alum Hank Wolfe was back in the area for the summer and was able to drop into a design meeting to get some updates on how the Water Bros research is continuing.

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Summer 23 Appalachian Energy Summit

I was pleased to attend this summer’s Appalachian Energy Summit in Boone, North Carolina, where Nils Horneff presented on some of the work he has done for Water Bros Desalination. Nils comes to us from KIT in Germany as part of the TE-Rex partnership with UNC Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC).

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Spring 2023 Graduation

May graduation was a big deal as Abby, Allison, Alex, Brad, Kyle and Nic all graduated.

Water Bros very own Abby McConnel was featured as graduation speaker and delivered a great speech.

We also had our typical end of semester gathering of students and alumni at the house for food and games, but apparently we were having a really good time as I captured zero photographs of the event.

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