Sustainable Research for GKinetic [Interview]

24 May, 2017

David Higgins, UCD Master’s Student 

GKinetic works with several University students around Ireland on the Research & Development of our tidal energy technology. We currently have one full time MaREI, NUI Galway PhD student; University College Dublin Masters student; and University of Limerick placement student working with us.  


To give you some insight on what our students are up to, we interviewed David Higgins, who is studying for his Masters in Sustainable Energy and Green Technology at UCD. We asked him a few questions about his research with us and future plans. 


Why Sustainable Energy?


Sustainable Energy and Green Technology are growing topics of research, particularly in relation to the marine sector. David explained why he decided to enter this field,I initially decided to enter the field of marine renewables based off pure love of the ocean. However, during my Geoscience undergraduate degree, I realised that the way forward in energy is through the development of unique and exciting projects such as GKinetic in order to harness the natural power that is available around us.”




David is working with GKinetic on research focused in the area of site investigation and feasibility assessments. He said, “My aim is to develop a suitability index of parameters based off device performance and site assessment that will aid in the selection of ideal sites for the GKinetic device.”


Although it is still very early on in his research, having just joined the team in January this year, we asked him about his most interesting finding to date. Here is what he had to say, “My research is currently at its early stages but the most interesting finding I have to date is the vast potential that there is for low head, in stream, tidal and river turbines worldwide. In comparison to conventional hydroelectric generation the minimal environmental impact that occurs from the installation of these low head devices highlights the need for such devices in the industry going forward.”


Looking Ahead


The marine renewable energy sector is growing with a higher number of deployments and new developers testing prototypes in the lab, there are many opportunities to get involved and find a viable career to suit your research interests.


We asked David about his future plans and ideal career path after he graduates, “After graduation I hope to get the opportunity to contribute further to the field of marine renewable energy. Ideally I would like to work with small companies as they develop their technologies and move them towards full commercialisation. The challenges that a growing and evolving industry like this will face are ones I would whole heartedly relish the chance to help overcome and learn from into the future.”



We are delighted to have David on the GKinetic team. Working with students has been and will continue to be an important part of GKinetic’s vision going forward. It is a fantastic opportunity to give experience, create training platforms, contribute to the future workforce for the marine sector and benefits us as the the developer, with new research and methodologies. We will continue to work with Universities in Ireland and abroad on the Research and Development of our tidal technology.

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