John Hayes

'An experimental study of the global dynamic responses and mooring line characteristics of a spar-type floating wind turbine in abnormal waves'


John Hayes began his career in engineering in 2011 as a CAD Engineer Apprentice for Engineering Technology Applications Ltd (ETA). Upon competition of his apprenticeship, he studied an HNC in Mechanical Engineering, passing with Distinction. In 2015, he began his BEng in Marine Technology and Offshore Engineering at Newcastle University, graduating with First Class Honours and receiving the RINA – BAE Systems Student Naval Architect Award as well as a nomination for the IMarEST - SMI Donald Maxwell Undergraduate Award. John is currently studying towards an MSc in Maritime Engineering Science / Offshore Engineering at the University of Southampton. Upon completion, John will be returning to ETA in the position of Naval Architect.

Introduction to research

 The demand for energy is increasing as the result of an ever-growing global population with higher expectations for their standard of living. Traditional forms of energy production face growing scrutiny and as such, it is energy generated from renewable sources that must meet the needs of the population. The UK is presently the global market leader in offshore wind, but a larger capacity is required to meet demand. Traditional fixed offshore wind turbines are limited in potential locations and often face opposition due to their appearance. Floating wind turbines offer a promising alternative by being able to be located in deep waters in areas of greater potential yield and reduced social complications. My research aims to build a better understanding of the dynamics of floating wind turbine systems in extreme sea states and in particular, instances of rogue waves. Rogue waves, until recently only believed to be of mythical nature, are thought to have caused the loss of many ships throughout the years and for floating wind turbines to be used with confidence in deep waters, their responses to such events is worthy of investigation. To do this, I have built a 1/91 scale model of a spar-type floating wind turbine which has undergone testing in the University of Southampton Towing Tank. 

Why did you choose maritime as your area of study and research?

Growing up in Southampton, the marine industry has always surrounded me and offered many attractive career paths. Through my time at work before university, I was involved in many wind, wave and tidal energy projects around the world. This experience, now built upon by my time studying Offshore Engineering, has given me a great respect for the oceans and inspired me to contribute, to the best of my ability, in the development of this global industry.

What do you hope to get out of participating in the Maritime Masters programme?

Taking part in such a programme is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, challenge myself to become the best engineer I can and receive feedback on my research from industry leaders that would otherwise not be possible.