The following members of staff at the Universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle form the core e-Drive management and research team.

University of Newcastle

Dr. Steve McDonald is the main power electronics designer in this project.  He was educated in the North East of England, he was engaged in a number of power engineering and power conversion projects with NEI and Siemens before returning to academia to complete his PhD in 1996. After a period of R&D in various power electronics projects with UMIST and Alstom he took up a role as part of the management team that led the development of the National Renewable Centre in Blyth. He recently joined the Electrical Power group at Newcastle University to continue pursuing research activities in Power electronics and sustainability.

Dr. Nick Baker is an electrical machines lecturer at Newcastle University, with a PhD in Linear Generators for Direct Drive Wave Energy from Durham University, which he continued as postdoc developing a larger scale prototype for the National Renewable Energy Centre 2003-2005.  He worked as an academic at Lancaster University working within the LU renewable energy group on hydrodynamics and power take off in wave energy, including carrying out experimental trials in the University's wave tank for Engineering Business and Oleotec. As a senior consultant in renewable energy firm TNEI Services (2008-2010) he conducted research for Ocean Wave Master limited and worked on power systems analysis for windfarms. He presently works on and manages electrical machine research projects across the automotive, aerospace and renewables sectors.

Prof. Volker Pickert studied electrical and electronic engineering at the RWTH Aachen, Germany and Cambridge University, UK. He received his Dipl.-Ing. degree in 1994 and the Ph.D. degree from Newcastle University, UK in 1997. He then worked as an Application Engineer for Semikron GmbH, Nuremberg, Germany and as Group Leader at Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, Germany in the R&D department for electric vehicle power drive train development. In 2003 he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer within the Electrical Power Research Group at Newcastle University and in 2011 he became Professor of Power Electronics. In 2012 he became the Head of the Electrical Power Research Group which has a workforce of 100 researchers.  Prof Pickert published more than 100 papers and book chapters in the area of power electronics and electric drives. His current research includes power factor corrections, thermal management, health monitoring techniques and advanced nonlinear control. Prof Pickert is the recipient of the IMarEST Denny Medal for the best paper in the Journal of Marine Engineering in 2011. He was chairman of the bi-annual international IET PEMD conference in 2010 and is the active Editor-in-Chief of the IET Power Electronics journal.

University of Edinburgh

Prof. Markus Mueller holds the Chair in Electrical Machines at Edinburgh and is Head of the Institute for Energy Systems. He has published 140 journal and conference papers, 3 patents have been granted and he has co-edited a book with Henk Polinder (TU Delft), “Electrical Drives for Direct Drive Renewable Energy Systems” published by Woodhead Publishing in April 2013. In 2006 along with Baker (NCL) he was awarded the Donald Julius Groen Prize by the IMechE and won best conference paper prizes at the International Conference on Electrical Machines and the IEEE IEMDC conference both in 2010. Previous projects relevant to E-DRIVE include: Supergen Marine Phase 2 WP 5 leader Power Take Off and Conditioning (35 papers were published from this work); Carbon Trust Marine Accelerator project to design, build and test a 50kW linear generator; UPWIND developing structural design and optimisation tools for direct drive generators (FP6); MARINA PLATFORM developing generic design tools for electrical generators in combined floating wind and wave platforms (FP7); SNAPPER design and system modelling of a novel linear generator for wave energy (EU FP7 7 partners), which won the Engineer Magazine Innovation Award Marine Category in 2012, and was a finalist in the IET Innovation Awards in 2012.

Dr. Aristides Kiprakis is a Senior Lecturer in Power Systems with 15 years of expertise in modelling, control and integration of renewable energy generation, smart grids and demand side management. He is a Senior Lecturer in Power Systems at the School of Engineering of the University of Edinburgh and Director of the MSc in Electrical Power Engineering. Within the School I am a member of the Institute for Energy Systems, where I research renewable energy conversion and integration, smart grids and energy efficiency. I am investigator and work package leader in several large collaborative UK and EU research projects with a total budget in excess of £24M such as the EPSRC Centre for Energy Systems Integration, the FP7 ITN ADVANTAGE and the EPSRC UKMER projects, and have co-authored more than 40 peer reviewed publications. I currently lead a group of 9 Doctoral and 3 Postdoctoral Researchers, all working in the areas of renewable energy and smart grids. My teaching includes courses on renewable energy and control engineering at both under- and postgraduate levels. I am a Senior Member of the IEEE and Member of the IET and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador for East Scotland.

Dr. Richard Crozier, CEng, has been working in academic research and industrial knowledge transfer in the wave and tidal sector for ten years. He obtained a PhD in the field optimisation of linear generators for wave energy converters from the University of Edinburgh and performed the electromagnetic design of a linear generator in an EU FP7 project with technical work rated as ‘Excellent’ by the EU commission.   From 2014-2016 he was seconded to a commercial tidal energy developer, Nova Innovation, where he responsible for the successful design of their direct-drive generator technology which is now the subject of a multi-million pound EU SME instrument project. He has worked with optimisation and automated design techniques for most of his career and successfully applied them in both the academic and industrial setting.  He is the also author of several open source software packages, including the popular xfemm Finite Element processing package, in use at Tesla Motors electrical machine design department.

Mr Ben McGilton's research focuses on the design, modelling and development of magnetically geared systems and novel pseudo-direct drives for marine energy applications. He is a contributor to the European Supergen Marine EDrive project which aims to develop all electric drives for marine energy converters.Ben graduated with a first class honours degree in Energy Systems Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway.  His PhD studentship is funded by the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC) through the Wind and Marine Energy Center for Doctoral Training.

Mr Simon Robertson is a renewable energy expert with hydro-power, wave, tidal and offshore wind energy experience. In these sectors Simon has worked in project development, innovation funding and demonstration project roles in the UK and Japan. With a scientific and technology policy background Simon is now working closely with industry partners to undertake techno-economic modelling and commercialisation planning for novel marine energy systems.


Dr. Steve McDonald : Dr. Nick Baker : Prof. Volker Pickert
Dr. Steve McDonald : Dr. Nick Baker : Prof. Volker Pickert
Prof. Markus Mueller : Dr. Aristides Kiprakis : Dr Richard Crozier : Ben McGilton : Simon Robertson
Prof. Markus Mueller : Dr. Aristides Kiprakis : Dr Richard Crozier : Ben McGilton : Simon Robertson