Ocean Energy: Products and Pollutants (2017-2018)

As technological developments have better enabled us to understand and exploit ocean common-pool resources, the ocean’s economic potential will continue to be harnessed in new ways to meet demands for energy (offshore oil and gas, methane hydrates and alternative wind, tide, wave sources), food security (aquaculture, fisheries), minerals (deep sea mining), pharmaceuticals and other emerging needs.

This team focused on the products (e.g., energy from multiple sources) as well as pollutants (e.g., ocean noise, altered seascapes) resulting from ocean energy development.

Team members analyzed the values, judgments and preferences inherent in competing visions for management and governance of ocean energy resources and how to manage the products and pollutants. Team members also assessed the consequences of human decisions of current ocean energy issues, including deep-sea mining, traditional oil/gas development, renewable energy sources and governance of “high-seas” ocean energy resources.

The engineering component of the project involved designing, building and testing an ocean energy harvesting buoy. The applications portion of the project involved exploring the energy response of a standard ocean buoy based on its geometry (e.g. size, shape, center of mass) in an aquatic environment (e.g. wave tank tests and ocean tests at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort). Tested devices were deployed at the Duke Marine Lab.

The team also participated in the State Energy Conference of North Carolina in Raleigh, on April 17, 2018.


Fall 2017 – Spring 2018  

Team Outcomes

A Tidal Energy Feasibility Study: Australia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea (poster by James Barry, Olivia Eskew, Alexandra DiGiacomo, Grant Larson, Tamasha Pathirathna, Christina Pipkin, Kelsey Johnson-Sapp, Sarina Weiss, Patrick Halpin, Douglas Nowacek), presented at Bass Connections Showcase, April 18, 2018

Designing an Energy Harvesting Buoy (poster by Miles Burnette, Kip Coonley, Chad Curd, Jack Ferrante, Conrad Mitchell, Era Kurtaliaj, Spencer Perkins, Dane Sequiera, Maxwell Silverstein, Matthew Treiber, Alexandra Wen, Martin Brooke, Brian Mann, Douglas Nowacek, John Virdin), presented at Bass Connections Showcase, April 18, 2018

See earlier related team, History and Future of Ocean Energy (2016-2017).

Wind turbines

Team Leaders

  • Martin Brooke, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Patrick Halpin, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • Zackary Johnson, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • Brian Mann, Pratt School of Engineering-Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
  • Douglas Nowacek, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • John Virdin, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

/graduate Team Members

  • Olivia Eskew, Master of Environmental Management, Coastal Environmental Management
  • Kelsey Johnson-Sapp, Master of Environmental Management, Coastal Environmental Management, Community Based Environmental
  • Carley Reynolds, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Molly Mansfield, Int Comparative Studies (AB)
  • Jana Woerner, Environmental Sciences (BS)
  • Alexandra Wen, Biology (BS)
  • Sarina Weiss, Environmental Sci/Policy (AB)
  • Matthew Treiber, Economics (BS)
  • Thomas Tilton, Computer Science (AB)
  • Maxwell Silverstein, Computer Science (BS)
  • Christina Pipkin, Biology (BS)
  • Spencer Perkins, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
  • Tamasha Pathirathna, Computer Science (BS)
  • James Barry, Biology (BS)
  • Grant Larson, Computer Science (BS)
  • Era Kurtaliaj, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
  • Jack Ferrante, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
  • Alexandra DiGiacomo, Biology (BS)
  • Miles Burnette, Mechanical Engineering (BSE)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Stephen Roady, Duke Law
  • Jay Golden, Nicholas School of the Environment-Earth and Climate Sciences
  • Elizabeth DeMattia, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • Lori Bennear, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy