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Interview with Dr Margaret Kadiri – Cardiff University, LCRI Marine team

Post date: April 2, 2014

Interview with Dr Margaret Kadiri – Cardiff University, LCRI Marine team

Dr Margaret Kadiri is one of the researchers working on the LCRI Marine team project. She specialises in Hydro-environmental Engineering in Cardiff University, focusing on water quality impacts of tidal marine renewable energy devices and estuaries; numerical modelling of hydrodynamic processes.

What did you do before this role?

My first degree was in plant science in Nigeria. I was then offered a scholarship to complete an Environmental Diagnosis MA in Imperial College. Then I completed a PhD on the release of metals and pesticides in salt marshes at Queen Mary University in London, before joining the LCRI.

What does your role within LCRI consist of?

I joined the LCRI Marine team’s Hydro-Environmental Modelling work package to look at the impact of marine technology on water quality, and the long term role of suspended sediments on the eco system. One of the papers I’ve worked on as part of my research with LCRI Marine was A review of the potential water quality impacts of tidal renewable energy systems.

Tidal renewable energy systems are designed to extract the kinetic or potential energy flow and convert it into electricity. This can be achieved by placing tidal stream turbines in the path of high speed tidal currents or through tidal range schemes, where low head turbines are encapsulated in impoundment structures, much like in low head riverine hydropower schemes. It is thought that these systems, when implemented at scales required to generate substantial amounts of electricity, have the potential to significantly alter the tidal flow characteristics, which could have knock-on impacts on the hydro-environment.

This review gathers together knowledge from different research areas to facilitate an evaluation of the potential hydro-environmental impacts of tidal renewable energy systems, with a particular focus on water quality. It highlights the relevance of hydro-environmental modelling in assessing potential impacts of proposed schemes and identifies areas where further research is needed.

There has been an increased interest in the UK to harness the tidal resource in recent years, with tidal range and tidal stream resource sites with potential for large scale commercial exploitation having been identified.

This paper evaluates the likely hydro-environmental impacts of tidal renewable energy systems, focusing on estuarine and coastal water quality. The overall objective was to inform modelling refinements and applications, as well as the formation of future research questions, ultimately to assist environmentalist and planners involved in assessing the environmental risks of tidal renewable energy systems.

What do you like about hydro-environmental engineering?

It has given a new direction to my research, and has made me look at a new aspect of the environmental problem.

Where do you see marine energy in the future energy mix?

I think Marine energy will be an important factor with future energy production, as it has the potential to be very useful, particularly in Wales. The marine energy sector is really only just emerging. The research we have done will provide a foundation for the technologies and processes as they develop, and as the technology is introduced into the market.

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