22 Sep 2021
Professor Byron Byrne elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering
Oxford’s Ørsted / RAEng Research Chair in Advanced Geotechnical Design is one of 69 leading figures in the field of engineering and technology elected to the RAEng Fellowship
Professor Byron Byrne, Ørsted / RAEng Research Chair in Advanced Geotechnical Design, has today been announced as one of 69 leading figures in the field of engineering and technology elected by The Royal Academy of Engineering to its Fellowship.
Professor Byrne is Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford, and a Fellow at St Catherine’s College, specialising in civil engineering applied to offshore renewable energy. The Fellowship recognises research led by Professor Byrne that explores new geotechnical design methods for offshore wind turbine foundations. Recent research, such as through the Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) project, focuses on optimised design for large diameter monopile foundations, and has already been applied to constructed wind farms in the North Sea, leading to significant cost savings.
As a firm believer in use-inspired research he collaborates closely with the industry, notably Ørsted, to ensure a rapid translation of academic outcomes to commercial practice, with clear benefits to society. Amongst many roles he is the Oxford Director for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Marine Structures, a Co-Investigator for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures and a Co-Director of the EPSRC Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub.
He says, “It is a great honour to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. This award will raise the profile of research in offshore geotechnical engineering, and its important industrial application towards a sustainable renewable energy future. I look forward to working with the Academy to tackle the challenges of our age through the power of engineering, and to inspire the next generation.”
The new Fellows have all made exceptional contributions to their sectors, as innovation leaders, inspiring role models, or through remarkable achievements in business or academia. They will be admitted to the Academy at its AGM on 22 September. In joining the Fellowship, they will add their capabilities to the Academy’s mission to create a sustainable society and an inclusive economy for all.
Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says: “Our Fellows represent the best of the best in the engineering world, and we welcome these 69 excellent and talented professionals to our community of businesspeople, entrepreneurs, innovators and academics".
This year’s new Fellows are the first to reflect the Academy’s Fellowship Fit for the Future initiative announced in July 2020, to drive more nominations of outstanding engineers from underrepresented groups ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2026. This initiative will see the Academy strive for increased representation from women, disabled and LGBTQ+ engineers, those from minority ethnic backgrounds, non-traditional education pathways and emerging industries, and those who have achieved excellence at an earlier career stage than normal.
“This year’s new Fellows are the most diverse group elected in the history of our institution”, adds Sir Jim McDonald. “The engineering profession has long suffered from a diversity shortfall and the Academy is committed to changing that, including by ensuring that our own Fellowship community is as inclusive as it can be. It is well established that diverse organisations tend to be more agile and more innovative, and as the UK’s National Academy for engineering and technology, we have a responsibility to reflect the society we serve in addressing the shared challenges of our future.”