Energy & Climate Change Lecture Series – 17th May 2017 – Prof Rod Rainey

Posted on 20th February, 2017


Title: The Severn barrage in stages – in steel
Speaker: Professor Rod Rainey
Date: Wednesday 17th May 2017
Venue: Lecture Theatre A, Lanchester Building (7), Highfield
Time: Doors open 17:30, lecture from 18:00 – 19:00
Introduction: Professor AbuBakr S Bahaj, Professor of Sustainable Energy and Head of Energy Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton

To reserve a place, please e-mail Sheila Stickland at

Refreshments served in foyer prior to the lecture. No admittance to the Lecture Theatre after 18.00

Could the Severn Barrage be designed so that it would be economic even when part built? ‐ even just a single caisson of it? This would transform the prospects for financing it. The technical challenge is to make turbine which is cheap, and efficient at very low heads as well as conventional heads. The undershot water wheel, in which there is renewed interest in recent years, appears that it might meet this challenge. It would form part of an all‐steel barrage ‐ this century steel has been found to be more economic than concrete, by both the offshore oil and offshore wind industries.

Speaker Details
Rod Rainey read first engineering, then maths, at Cambridge University, graduating in 1971. He also has an MSc in control theory from Imperial College London. He worked as a design engineer for Yarrow shipbuilders on the Clyde, and as a research fellow at Imperial College, before joining Atkins Oil and Gas division in 1978 where he worked until leaving in 2016 to form Rod Rainey and Associates Ltd. He specialises in the scientific analysis of ships and offshore structures, and was responsible for the early development of the AQWA suite of computer programs, which are the world’s most widely used in this field. He has written a number of well‐known scientific papers, on slender body theory, on freak waves, and on tidal barrages. He has been closely associated with the development of the Pelamis and Anaconda wave energy devices. He is an internationally recognised authority in the field of Hydrodynamic loading and is a visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2016