Unlocking the Power of Waves

UMass Dartmouth experts discuss ocean waves as a source of sustainable, renewable energy

Due to concerns about climate change and the finite extent of fossil fuel resources, the world has been increasingly looking toward renewable sources to satisfy our ever-growing appetite for energy. Although hydro, wind, and solar power are the leading renewables now, they are not the only renewable energy resources. Ocean waves are rich in energy, and current estimates suggest that the wave energy available off the U.S. coast could provide almost 30% of the nation’s power needs if harnessed effectively. 

On Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 3 p.m., at UMass Dartmouth’s Claire T. Carney Library Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Foundation Grand Reading Room Professors Mehdi Raessi and Dan MacDonald will provide a brief overview of the current U.S. and world energy landscape, the role of renewables, the techniques for harvesting wave energy, and how UMass Dartmouth researchers are at the forefront of efforts to tame the waves and utilize their energy to benefit society. 

With wind and solar now established players in the energy market, the race is on to develop efficient and cost-effective ways to turn the power of ocean waves into usable energy. In addition to turning on the lights, harnessing wave energy may also be part of the solution to the looming global water crisis, as well as an effective means to protect our vulnerable shorelines from erosion in an era of increasingly energetic storms.

Mehdi Raessi is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2008. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA/Stanford University’s Center for Turbulence Research from 2008 to 2010. He joined UMASS-Dartmouth in 2010 and is a member of its Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research.

Dan MacDonald, Ph.D., P.E., is a Civil Engineer and Coastal Oceanographer with over 25 years’ experience in engineering applications and research. He holds degrees from the University of New Hampshire, Cornell University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, and has been a professor at UMass Dartmouth for 15 years, in both the College of Engineering and the School for Marine Science and Technology. 

This event is part of ARNIE (Art. Research. Nexus. Innovation. Education) Talks, modeled after the TED Talks, which are open to the entire University community. ARNIE Talks provide students, faculty, and the community the opportunity to discuss research and programs while honoring excellent scholarship on campus and fostering community and culture at the university.

UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.


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