Sinéad Reidy, a dedicated civil engineer coming from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, brings her passion for geotechnical and offshore engineering to the FRONTIErS Doctoral Network. With a background in civil engineering and practical experience at ESB, she’s determined to contribute to the “green transition” and decarbonize the electricity network. Sinéad’s goal within FRONTIErS DN is to publish valuable research papers, present her findings, and collaborate with her peers to make a meaningful impact in the field of offshore wind energy.

Can you provide a brief introduction of yourself and your project within the FRONTIErS DN?

My name is Sinéad Reidy from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. I previously studied civil engineering at the University of Galway and worked as a graduate engineer in various teams for ESB (Electricity Supply Board) in Ireland for three years. While working for ESB, I completed a certification in Geotechnical and Structural Engineering part-time with Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Sligo. I am undertaking the project: “EXPLORE” –  Understanding the impact of soil variability on foundation installation and performance in the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) and TU Delft.

What motivated you to apply to FRONTIErS DN?

I applied for the FRONTIErs DN as it was a great opportunity for further studies and to assist in solving some of the problems associated with the foundations of offshore wind turbines. I have always been very interested in geotechnical engineering and offshore engineering and this gave me the opportunity to explore both. It also granted me the opportunity to learn from and work with some of the leaders in research in this field, as well as a peer network where ideas can be discussed.

What drives your passion for the work you have done so far and the work you will do within FRONTIErS?

I am passionate about contributing to society in whatever way I can. Civil engineering deals with the built environment and is responsible for a large portion of carbon emissions annually. As a geotechnical engineer, it is important to design and build things “on safe ground”. I am determined to understand the issues with offshore foundation installation and performance and ensure that future designs are safe, not wasteful (of materials) and further contribute to decarbonising the electricity network in Europe.

How do you believe collaboration enhances the effectiveness of FRONTIErS DN?

As the old Irish phrase goes “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” which translates as we live in each other’s shadows, or no man is an island. Collaboration is crucial for effective problem solving and will play a vital role in the effectiveness of FRONTIErS Doctoral Network.

Can you share any personal stories or experiences that have shaped your decision to apply?

Having worked at Ardnacrusha Generating Station for two years, I learned about the history of how the power station came about and the consequences of how the electrification of a country changed its prospects. Offshore wind in Ireland and Europe looks to further progress this and assist with decarbonising societies and reducing the impact of climate change. I would like to play my part in this “green transition”, and this is one of many reasons why I applied.

What are your future goals and aspirations as a member of the FRONTIErS DN?

My future goals and aspirations are to publish multiple papers on the works that I will carry out. I also hope to attend multiple conferences to present my findings, as well as learn from others researching in this area. As a member of the FRONTIErS DN, I plan to assist my fellow FRONTIErS doctoral candidates, as well as learn from them.

How do you envision your role evolving and contributing to the FRONTIErS DN success?

I envision that my role will involve a lot of reading of papers at the start to ensure that I am starting with a good foundation of knowledge. A literature group may develop in the Doctoral Network to summarise papers that individuals in the group have read that may be of use to others in the DN. I then envisage that various methods will be used to test potential solutions and a paper may then be published based on the success of the process. A “lessons learned” may follow and be presented to the FRONTIErS DN. I envision that future research will develop from the lessons learned and a similar process will begin again.

How do you anticipate your MSCA fellowship will impact your broader career aspirations?

I anticipate that the MSCA fellowship should assist me in future research or in applying the knowledge gained to real-world projects in the field. I also anticipate that the connections and collaborations made throughout the 3 years will be of great use in my future career.

What message or key takeaway would you like to convey to the public about FRONTIErS?

FRONTIErS is a group of enthusiastic researchers working in research institutes, industries and universities all over Europe, to work both independently and in unison to solve problems and create solutions to assist with the design of Offshore Wind Turbines.

Can you provide insights or advice for individuals interested in pursuing similar programs and fellowships?

I would encourage individuals to investigate the work of the various universities and research institutes to date and see if this is something that may be of interest. I would also encourage individuals to not be afraid to apply!

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