The 12th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference

EWTEC 2021 | 27th August – 1st September 2017 in Cork, UK

We were delighted to extend a Céad Míle Fáilte go Corcaigh – a hundred thousand welcomes to over 450 delegates who attended the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, EWTEC 2017 in University College Cork in August 2017.

EWTEC 2017 presented the most up-to-date results from innovative research as well as leading industry developments. The Conference had the largest number of papers ever in the proceedings with a total of 336 oral presentations and 30 poster presentations over the four days. Over 450 attendees from at least 25 countries worldwide. This is the second time the Conference was held in Cork with the previous 5th Conference held in 2003 when only 120 delegates attended.

This Conference was an essential component in support of the development of this exciting emerging renewable energy industry. It brought together the world leading academics, researchers and industry developers together with a large cohort of young researchers and PhD students who will make up the workforce to drive future developments. There was exhibitions where leading companies and Research Centres presented ongoing developments. The conditions in Ireland are second to none to support this emerging industry. Ireland has the best resource anywhere in the planet for wave energy and to a lesser extent for tidal stream energy. The research and development climate here in Ireland is outstanding with the infrastructure for supporting activity of technology development from concept to full scale at sea deployments together with the MaREI Centre. The support mechanisms in Ireland encourage development and funding from Government Agencies is available to support projects.

Professor Tony Lewis

Chair of EWTEC 2017

The 12th EWTEC Conference was organised by a local Committee within the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy in University College Cork (UCC) supported by Conference UCC, a department under the umbrella of the UCC Academy which is a subsidiary of University College Cork. The event took place from 27th August to 1st September, 2017. It was the second time this bi-annual Conference took place in Cork, originally taking place in 2003 with approximately 80 delegates.

The event attracted 1 gold sponsor, SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) with a further 6 sponsors Failte Ireland, IEA – International Energy Agency Ocean Energy Systems, Wave Energy Scotland, DP Energy, Open Hydro – Naval Energies and Marine Institute, Ireland and a range of exhibitors.

Due to the nature of the conference being based on renewable energy sources and because UCC is Ireland’s first Green Campus, the organising team wanted to ensure that the conference was as close to paperless as possible and decided to reduce the size of the printed brochure to 8 A3 pages. To ensure that the delegates were able to access all of the more detailed information a mobile application was developed which included campus maps, venue locations, schedule, presenter information, track directory and social programme updates. The app was a huge success for the duration of the conference and based on the Google Playstore and Apple Appstore there were a total of 520 installations including 245 Android installations and 275 iPhone Installations.


Plenary Opening Ceremony

The Plenary Opening Ceremony was held in the Boole 4 Lecture Theatre (capacity 392). Due to the larger than expected number of attendees, the adjoining Boole 3 Theatre (capacity 336) was also used to accommodate the additional attendees with a live stream of the proceedings.

A panel of seven dignatiries opened the ceremony including Professor Tony Lewis, Chairperson of EWTEC 2017, Professor Patrick O’Shea, President of University College Cork, Counsellor Tony Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor of Cork, Minister Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Mr Jim Gannon, Chief Executive at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Mrs Sandra Farwell, Director Sustainable & Renewable Energy – Nova Scotia Department of Energy, Professor Jerry Murphy, Director of the SFI MaREI Centre.


The parallel sessions

The scientific section of the conference was divided into 12 Tracks with 78 Parallel sessions and 336 papers presented. From Monday to Thursday the parallel sessions were broken into six 1 hour and 20 minute (5 x 20 minute presentations) or 1 hour and 40 minute groupings (6 x 20 minute presentations). All of the papers were allotted 20 minutes each, with 15 minutes to present and 5 minutes for questions and change of presenters. On Monday, there were three groupings, on Tuesday and Wednesday there were four groupings, and on Thursday, there were two groupings.

The poster sessions

28 papers were accepted for poster presentations. Poster sessions were held in conjunction with the coffee breaks in Áras na Mac Léinn’s Devere Hall, along with the Exhibition Stands. In order for optimal visibility, papers were displayed from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon so that anyone who wished to see the displayed papers could at any given time.


The social programme included a diverse range of activities over the duration of the conference including team building activities, networking events and technical tours as described below:

An Afternoon of Water Sports, Port of Cork

On Sunday August 27th, the team-building water activity departed from Lapp’s Quay in the heart of the city. The trip took in the scenic views including the new, state of the art, Paírc Uí Chaoimh. 30 participants took off on 10 identical kayaks and 10 authentic Irish Currachs and delegates stopped for lunch in The Natural Foods Bakery in Blackrock Village, historically a fishing village along the water where a new state-of-the-art amphitheatre was recently constructed. Delegates then kayaked back along the Port of Cork before returning to Lapp’s Quay. A participation fee of €50.00 covered insurance, equipment rental, instructor fees and lunch.

Welcome reception, Glucksman Gallery UCC

On Sunday August 27th, delegate registration took place in the award winning Glucksman Gallery. The first floor held early registrations where live ambient music was performed by local Cork harpist and delegates received their welcome packs. 350 delegates attended the event and this helped to speed up the conference’s main registration the following morning. On the second floor, delegates enjoyed a drinks and canapés reception while soaking up the atmosphere with a renowned local String Quartet. The gallery installation was entitled Now Wakes the Sea: Contemporary art in the ocean’, titled after the 1963 short story by J.G Ballard. The installation presented Irish and international artists whose work explores ideas of submersion and salvaging, the lure of the deep for seafarers, and the secrets hidden in its unseen trenches.

Plenary Opening Ceermony, Boole UCC 

At 9am on Monday morning, the Plenary Opening Ceremony took place. A record number of attendees were facilitated by booking two adjoining lecture theatres (Boole 3&4) and streaming a live feed into the smaller theatre. More than 350 attendees
were seated in the larger theatre and the 
overflow alongside. The feed was also streamed
into the Student Bar which is adjacent to the Exhibition Centre so that exhibitors could also watch the proceedings. The ceremony was highly publicised with many local and national papers covering the event. To watch the live stream please visit


EWTEC nightclub, Rearden’s Complex Cork City

The evening’s festivities began in Rearden’s Complex where delegates were served finger food and drinks. Beverages were partially sponsored by Diageo. Local company Exceedence organised an Open Mic Session allowed fellow EWTECERS to showcase their musical talents in ‘The Hidden Attic’. To finish off the evening, delegates moved into the larger space of ‘Havana Brown’s. ‘Comhaltas’, a traditional Irish band performed and the delegates were even treated to bagpipes.

EWTEC Banquet, Cork City Hall

The highlight of the week had to have been the EWTEC Conference Banquet held in the prestigious Cork City Hall. A Prosecco reception in the Atrium was followed by a four course meal in the Concert Hall, followed by speeches from Declan Mealey from SEAI and Michael Lewis from Open Hydro. Later in the evening guest were treated to a spectacular live performance of Irish music song and dance celebrating traditional music by Pulses of Tradition. Chairperson Professor Tony Lewis and a selection of delegates graced the stage with a bodhrán demonstration before a dance floor was cleared and delegates were taught authentic Irish dancing and set dancing. Overall 520 delegates attended the banquet with 30 staff members on hand. 

Cork Technical Tour, Ringaskiddy Cork

Ringaskiddy is home to Ireland’s world class MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, Lir National Ocean Test Facility and the National Maritime College of Ireland. Delegates were invited to attend an introduction by researchers at the cutting edge of offshore renewable energy working in the MAREI Centre in the Beaufort Research Building together with a visit to Europe’s newest Test Facility, the state of the art, Lir National Ocean Test Facility housing a range of wave and tidal test tanks as well as a number of electrical PTO test rigs. A tour of one of the largest simulation suites in Europe, comprising a 360° and a 270° Full Mission Ships Bridge Kongsberg simulator at the NMCI was also made. The visit was followed by a networking event where delegates received a further opportunity to meet the experts located in the MaREI Centre. This was included in the congress fee but numbers were limited to 100 delegates due to the logistics at the test facilities.

Limerick Technical Tour, Limerick Docks

On Friday delegates were given the option to attend a Technical Tour in Limerick. Departing from Grand Parade, delegates were taken to Limerick’s Clayton Hotel where tea, coffee and pastries were served. From there delegates were brought
on a Tour of GKinetic, Limerick Wet Dock 
Facility. After the tour delegates were brought to Ireland’s iconic Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and delegates were given the chance to explore the acclaimed 15th century Bunratty Castle and the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park.

Closing Address, Aula Maxima UCC

Once all the scientific sessions were completed the closing address took place in UCC’s Aula Maxima. Chairperson Professor Tony Lewis led the speeches and was followed by a message from the conference sponsors. A closing speech was made by the Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference committee outlining new information regarding AWTEC 2018. Dr Dave Parish collected The Yoshio Masuda prize on behalf of the Horizon 2020 OPERA consortium and Professor Lewis handed over to new chair of EWTEC 2019, Dr Diego Vicinanza who will be hosting the conference in Napoli, Italy September 2019. To watch the live stream of the Closing Address please visit

Farewell Lunch, Áras na Mac Léinn, UCC

On Thursday afternoon, after the final sessions and the Closing Address delegates were escorted to the Exhibition Centre where they had a farewell lunch. Due to the number of attendees a standing lunch was preferred. Deserts, tea & coffee were displayed on tables spaced around the hall to help with accessibility. Lunches were also served in the adjoining Oasis Café and the Student Bar so that delegates had areas to sit in groups together. From the Banquet dinner, pictures from the photo booth were on display.