The 14th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference

EWTEC 2021 | 5th – 9th September 2021 in Plymouth, UK | hybrid

The 14th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC 2021) was organised by the University of Plymouth from 5–9 September 2021. It was the first time the conference had been hosted in the South West, and with the impact of Covid-19, it was also the first time it was held in a hybrid format.  In total there were 363 delegates – 146 face to face and 217 online.

The event received 369 abstract submissions, of which 128 were either withdrawn or rejected. In total, 241 full papers were submitted with 221 were accepted for oral presentation, 20 for poster presentation, and of the 221 oral presentations an additional 28 took up the offer of a poster presentation.  

The presentation of the scientific papers were presented across 45 sessions from Monday afternoon until Thursday lunchtime, with every session live streamed and both presenters and audience members able to join in person in Plymouth, or virtually. Additionally, there were 17 physical posters, and 48 electronic posters displayed for delegates to view.

The event attracted 3 bronze sponsors (Supergen Offshore Renewable Hub, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and the WESE Project) as well as two journals who sponsored the best paper prizes (JMSE – the best poster prize; Energies – the best oral presentation prize) as well as took advantage of advertising opportunities. There were also 13 side events held during the conference, all of which were also streamed to the virtual audience (see programme).

We were delighted that 30 papers from the conference were selected for invitation to a special issue of the International Marine Energy Journal (IMEJ).

EWTEC2021 logo

Conference Awards

A closing award ceremony took place with two awards. The best oral presentation prize (sponsored be the 0pen access journal Energies) was awarded to Carwyn Frost from Queen’s University for his presentation “A comparison of platform and seabed mounted flow measurements instrumentation for PLAT-I Performance Assessment”. The best poster presentation (sponsored by the open access journal Marine Science and Engineering) was awarded to Mouncef Sedrati from the University of Southern Brittany for his poster “Social perception and acceptance of Tidal Current Energy (TCE) project:A case study of the Gulf of Morbihan, France”.

The EWTEC2021 Management Committee would like to thank all delegates, authors, members of Parliament, reviewers, exhibitors, sponsors, presenters and speakers for their contributions and support. Below follows a brief conference summary.

Sunday

The event began with the 3rd EWTEC Regatta, which took place in Plymouth Sound; 16 participants took part in 3 races, supported by a local sailing club.
In the evening, delegates were invited to the Welcome reception, where they could register for the conference and collect their conference packs, as well as listen to the opening presentations and also enjoy some local canapes and drinks.

Monday

The opening ceremony and keynote presentations comprised:
  • Welcome from Professor Deborah GreavesChair of EWTEC 2021
  • Welcome to the University of Plymouth from Professor Judith PettsVice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth 
  • Welcome to the City of Plymouth from Luke PollardLabour and Co-operative Member of Parliament (MP) for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
  • Introduction to the EWTEC 2021 Conference from Professor Deborah Greaves
  • Welcome from the EWTEC Executive Board from Cameron JohnstoneChair of the EWTEC Executive Board
  • Keynote Speaker 1 – Sue Barr, Chair, UK Marine Energy Council
  • Keynote Speaker 2 – Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy and Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

This was followed by lunch, and then the oral presentation sessions began after which there were 5 side events to choose from.  

The Monday evening social event was a Cocktail Reception at The Box, Plymouth’s latest tourist attraction which is a museum/art gallery. We had exclusive access, and guests were welcomed with a locally sourced cocktail, before being welcomed by Professor Deborah Greaves and a representative from the venue. Guests were able to view the galleries, whilst enjoying drinks from a paid bar, and canapés made using locally sourced produce were also distributed.  

Tuesday

After a full day of presentations, there were 3 side events in the evening. This was followed by a dedicated session for delegates to look at the exhibition stands and poster displays. To encourage delegates to attend, we provided a ‘Taste of the West’ trail, with local food and drink from the South West of England being spread around the venue for people to try, and each delegate receiving their own EWTEC 2021 branded glass on arrival.

Fish and Chips

Wednesday

Another full day of presentations, plus 5 side events, was followed by the main social event of the conference – the gala dinner. We decided on a British seaside theme, and brought in a carousel, hook-a-duck stall and candyfloss stand. On arrival we had music provided by the Exmouth Shanty Men, who sang traditional sea shanties whilst guests enjoyed their welcome drink.

The menu was a 3 course meal, all locally sourced, with wine on the table and a bar open for other drinks. Following the starter, there were some speeches from the leader of Plymouth City Council (Councillor Nick Kelly), the Chair of EWTEC 2021, Deborah Greaves, and the announcement of the host of the 2025 event by Professor AbuBakr Bahaj. After the meal was finished, a local band ‘Joey the Lips’ who specialise in cover songs performed. The dance floor was packed, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time! 

Simultaneously, a virtual social event was held for those attending online. Matt Harvey, a UK based poet who has experience writing poems in the areas of sustainability performed a set of his work. Matt was hosted by Diego Vicinanza, and Diego also talked through a cocktail making recipe, which was based on the Plymouth 150 cocktail. 

Thursday

Thursday morning saw the last of the oral presentations, followed by the closing ceremony which comprised:

  • Presentation to the winners of the EWTEC Regatta
  • Presentation of the Best Oral Presentation Prize (Sponsored by Energies)
  • Presentation of the Best Poster Presentation Prize (Sponsored by JMSE)
  • A pre-recorded talk from Professor Dahai ZhangChair of AWTEC 
  • Photos and short speech (read by Professor Deborah Greaves) on behalf of Bruce Cameron – xi
  • A live (virtual) presentation and video from Jesus Maria Blanco IlzarbeChair of EWTEC 2023

Lunch was provided after the closing ceremony, before delegates were offered the opportunity to attend two technical site visits:

The COAST Lab tour was on the University of Plymouth campus – delegates were given a tour of the facilities, with a demonstration of the equipment; 

The Showcase of Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) Cetus (including electric boat trip around Plymouth Sound) was launched from the Marine Station, which was a short coach ride away. Delegates were given a tour of the facilities in the Marine Station, a showcase of the Uncrewed Surface Vessel, and a short trip in small groups on one of two electric boats around Plymouth Sound.  

Friday

An optional social visit to the Eden Project was arranged for delegates on Friday 10th September. As part of the trip, we visited Eden Geothermal, and were very fortunate to be met by the Executive Director, Drilling Support Engineer and Lead Geologist of the project. They talked through the programme they are running, and the group were able to ask lots of questions.

The EWTEC 2021 Organising Committee would like to thank the sponsors, exhibitors, side event hosts, delegates, authors, keynote speakers, guest speakers, reviewers, student ambassadors’ technical committee and Board for their support. The assistance from the University of Plymouth events team, catering department, campus support team and AV team was also invaluable. In very challenging circumstances, it was fantastic to be able to go ahead with the event in this hybrid format.