News

Oct 4-6, 2023

Research presented at the UMERC 2023 Conference at the University of New Hampshire

SEA Lab members presented their research at the second annual University Marine Energy Research Community (UMERC) conference in Durham, New Hampshire, hosted by the Atlantic Marine Energy Center and the University of New Hampshire. Undergraduate student Gabriel Ewig presented work titled “Marine Spatial Planning for Siting Wave-Powered Aquaculture Farms,” graduate student Olivia Vitale presented work titled “Multi-objective multidisciplinary optimization of wave energy converter array configurations and controls,” and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Arezoo Hasankhani presented a poster titled “Wave-Powered Aquaculture Farm: Sustainable Source of Food and Power.”

Sept 27-28, 2023

SEA Lab members present research at the 2023 C3E Symposium

SEA Lab members Leah Buccino, Annie Stewart, and Olivia Vitale presented their work at the 2023 Clean Energy, Education, and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative Symposium in Boston, MA. Undergraduate student Leah presented a poster titled “Power Consumption in an Offshore Aquaculture Farm,” undergraduate student Annie presented a poster titled “Development of a Wave-Powered Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Farm,” and graduate student Olivia presented a poster titled “Aquaculture, Wave Energy Converters, and Offshore Wind Turbines: A Co-Location Case Study.”

Sept 22, 2023

Boston Globe features PhD student Rebecca McCabe

SEA Lab member Becca McCabe interned this summer at Infinite Cooling, a clean-tech startup in the Boston area which develops hardware to make industrial cooling more sustainable. In this profile, the Boston Globe highlights her career path as part of the new generation of climate innovators. Read the article here: “Climate tech is buzzing in Boston. Here are six young workers leading the way

Sept 20, 2023

Research on Integrated Pumped Hydro and Reverse Osmosis Systems published in Applied Energy

New SEA Lab research was published in Applied Energy. The paper, titled “Integrated Pumped Hydro Reverse Osmosis System Optimization Featuring Surrogate Model Development in Reverse Osmosis Modeling,” was led by PhD student Matthew Haefner. The paper details integrated multidisciplinary optimization of an Integrated Pumped Hydro Reverse Osmosis System (IPHROS) with surrogate models for the reverse osmosis system fractional salt rejection rate and permeate flow rate. Tradeoffs are explored between optimal IPHROS designs with respect to different objectives and it was found that a combined system such as IPHROS has a 16% faster break even time.

Aug 21, 2023

SEA Lab members present their research at ASME IDETC-CIE in Boston, MA

SEA Lab PhD students Becca McCabe and Olivia Vitale presented their research at the ASME IDETC-CIE conference in Boston, MA. Becca presented “System Level Techno-Economic and Environmental Design Optimization for Ocean Wave Energy” in the Design and Optimization of Energy Systems session. Olivia presented “Effects of Wave Energy Converter Array Configurations and Geometries on Wave Field and Power Output” in the Computational Methods and Software Tools in Multibody Systems and Nonlinear Dynamics session.

June 19-23, 2023

Dr. Arezoo Hasankhani presented research on the design of a wave-powered aquaculture farm at ISOPE

Arezoo presented a paper in the 33rd ISOPE, the International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers, at Ottawa. The presented paper was on “Conceptual Design and Optimization of a Wave-Powered Offshore Aquaculture Farm”.

June 5-8, 2023

Dr. Arezoo Hasankhani presents research on wave-powered aquaculture farm siting at OCEANS’23

Arezoo presented a paper in the IEEE Oceans conference in Limerick, Ireland. The presented paper was on “Marine Spatial Planning of a Wave-Powered Offshore Aquaculture Farm in the Northeast U.S.

May 30, 2023

Kapil Khanal presents research at SIAM OP 23

Kapil presented the research on gradient based design optimization of concentric cylinders using matched eigenfunction method and multidisciplinary design optimization techniques. Kapil also chaired the session CP6 – Diverse Optimization Applications I.

May 17, 2023

Rebecca McCabe successfully passes her A exam!

Becca presented her research on techno-economic metrics and multidisciplinary design optimization of wave energy converters. The A-Exam marks admission to PhD candidacy. Her hour-long talk is recorded and publicly viewable at this link: https://vod.video.cornell.edu/media/Rebecca+McCabe+A+Exam+-+System-Level+Techno-Economic+Environmental+Design+Optimization+for+Ocean+Wave+Energy/1_71y6ip6w

May 8-10, 2023

SEA Lab participates in the Marine Energy Collegiate Competition at Water Week

SEA Lab undergraduate students (Temilola Omojola, Madison Dietrich, Ana Sofia Alonso Munera, Nelson Ooi, Alan Lui, and Andrea Miramontes Serrano) competed in the 2023 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, hosted by the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, with the capstone event being at the National Hydropower Association’s Waterpower Week Conference in Washington D.C. The team investigated the development of a wave energy converter to power offshore aquaculture farms. The team won first place for their report at the competition. Congratulations everyone!

May 8-10, 2023

SEA Lab participates in the Hydropower Collegiate Competition at Water Week

SEA Lab PhD student Matt Haefner led a team of 6 students (Remy Vearil, Mary Conlan, Sanjar Kushaliev, Siva Visvesvaran, Gabriella Cabrara, and Isabel Mejía-Roberts) in the inaugural Hydropower Collegiate Competition, hosted by the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, with the capstone event being at the National Hydropower Association’s Waterpower Week Conference in Washington D.C. The team investigated the technoeconomic feasibility of possibly converting the Castaic Power Plant into an IPHROS facility, and presented their findings at the conference. They also taught local middle schoolers about hydropower, and built a mini-PSH system to aid the teaching process.

May 1, 2023

SEA Lab awarded subcontract from Sandia National Laboratory for seedling project

The SEA Lab was awarded funding as a subcontract from Sandia National Laboratory for a new seedling project funded by the Department of Energy WPTO office. The project will seek to explore the differentiability of the hydrodynamic simulations.

March 10-18, 2023

SXSW Ideator Boot Camp Courtesy of Vanderbilt’s The Wondry and NSF I-Corps Midsouth Hub

SEA Lab PhD student Olivia Murphy attended SXSW with student entrepreneurs from Vanderbilt University and the National GEM consortium, where she did customer discovery on-site. She engaged with and learned valuable insight from dreamers, storytellers, innovators, and global innovators in the renewable energy space.

March 7, 2023

SEA Lab undergraduates awarded funding from Atkinson Center to research WEC arrays

The Atkinson Center for Sustainability awarded funding to the SEA Lab to support a 10-week wave energy converter (WEC) prototyping project. Undergraduates Aisha Brundan (junior, mechanical) and Kavya Mittha (sophomore, mechanical) were selected to design, construct, and test a heaving point-absorber WEC. Their prototype will serve as a reference for future builds and be used in multibody experimental testing.

Feb 27-Mar 31, 2023

SEA Lab member takes part in ARPA-E I-Corps- Interior Northeast Hub

SEA Lab PhD student Olivia Murphy participated in a regional course hosted by the NSF I-Corps Northeast Interior Hub that prepared her to conduct customer discovery interviews and deliver presentations on her findings at the ARPA-E Summit.

Feb 1, 2023

Research on combined wind-wave farm published in Applied Energy

New SEA Lab research was published in Applied Energy. The paper, titled “The power balancing benefits of wave energy converters in offshore wind-wave farms with energy storage,” shows that co-located a wind-wave farm has 15% smoother power, 6% less energy curtailment, and 2% higher power efficiency than a wind farm. It also shows that attaching a wave energy converter (WEC) to a wind turbine reduces WEC cost by 43%.

Jan 24, 2023

Research on autonomous AUV servicing platform published in the Journal of Field Robotics

New SEA Lab research was published in the Journal of Field Robotics. The paper, titled “Autonomous control of a prototype solar-powered offshore autonomous underwater vehicle servicing platform via a low-cost embedded architecture,” was an outcome of Prof. Haji’s fellowship at MIT. The paper describes field tests of station-keeping and waypoint missions of a solar-powered autonomous marine surface robot. The robot was able to achieve an RMS tracking error of 0.9–2.2 m during waypoint pattern executions, with an average battery usage of 13% per hour.

Dec 15, 2022

Affinito-Stewart grant awarded for automated feed distribution project

Prof. Haji and the SEA Lab were awarded one of twenty Affinito-Stewart research grants from the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) to design and test a sensor-driven automated feed distribution system for offshore aquaculture farms. Learn more about the project and other awards from the Affinito-Stewart program that totaled $195,166.

Dec 1, 2022

Welcome new members to the SEA Lab!

We welcome new PhD students Olivia Vitale and Nate DeGoede to the SEA Lab this Fall 2022 semester! Visit the SEA Lab team page to learn more!

Dec 1, 2022

Research on MDO of hybrid renewable energy grid published in Renewable Energy

New SEA Lab research was published in Renewable Energy.  The paper, titled “Multi-objective optimization of hybrid renewable energy systems with urban building energy modeling for a prototypical coastal community,” was an outcome of the course 16.886 Multidisciplinary Design Optimization taught by Prof. Haji at MIT in Spring 2021. The paper combines urban building energy modeling with multidisciplinary multi-objective optimization to guide the development of a hybrid renewable energy grid. The results suggest that while different renewable energy system mixes can be viable, optimizing for cost, energy utilization, and power deficit can be increasingly challenging as higher annual demand hours (>90%) are met.

Nov 30, 2022

Review of direct lithium extraction technologies published in Frontiers in Chemical Engineering

New SEA Lab research was published in Frontiers in Chemical Engineering. The paper, titled “A review of technologies for direct lithium extraction from low Li+ concentration aqueous solutions,” was led by PhD student Olivia Murphy.

Oct 24, 2022

SEA Lab at OpenMDAO Workshop

SEA Lab PhD student, Kapil Khanal, presented his work on the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization for Novel Offshore Systems at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH on October 24-25, 2022 as part of the 2022 OpenMDAO Workshop

Oct 2, 2022

SEA Lab at the Chemical Separations Gordon Research Conference

The SEA Lab took part in the 2022 Chemical Separations Gordon Research Conference from October 2-7, 2022 in Ventura, CA. PhD student Olivia Murphy presented a poster on “A Review of Technologies for Direct Lithium Extraction from Low Li+ Concentration Aqueous Solutions.”

Sept 13, 2022

SEA Lab at UMERC+OREC 2022

The SEA Lab took part in the University Marine Energy Research Community (UMERC) and the Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) marine energy research conference from September 13-14, 2022 in Portland, OR. Prof. Haji gave the plenary talk titled “Unlocking the power of ocean energy: The need for standardization, and transfer of data and technology” and PhD student Rebecca McCabe presented on “Value Metrics and Global Impact Potential of Wave Energy.””

Aug 30, 2022

SEA Lab members win Bart Conta Prize in Energy and Environment!

Cornell’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has awarded SEA Lab PhD students Becca McCabe and Olivia Murphy with the Bart Conta Prize in Energy and Environment. This award recognizes the best work on a research or design project dealing with energy and the environment. Congratulations!

Aug 30, 2022

Join the SEA Lab!

The SEA Lab is offering a number of research projects for undergraduate and MEng students in Fall 2022! Please email maha@cornell with interest by Thursday 9/1/22. For project descriptions, please see the COE/CIS project portal: ug-meng-projects.coecis.cornell.edu. Learn more about open positions on our Team Page as well.

Aug 14, 2022

SEA Lab at ASME IDETC-CIE 2022

The SEA Lab took part in the 2022 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference from August 14-17, 2022 in St. Louis, MO. PhD student Rebecca McCabe presented a new conference paper titled “Multidisciplinary Optimization to Reduce Cost and Power Variation of a Wave Energy Converter.

June 1, 2022

Welcome to Dr. Arezoo Hasankhani to the SEA Lab!

We welcome Dr. Arezoo Hasankhani to the SEA Lab this summer! She joins the group as a postdoctoral researcher working on offshore energy system modeling and aquaculture after completing her PhD from Florida Atlantic University. Visit the SEA Lab team page to learn more!

June 1, 2022

Welcome Kapil Khanal to the SEA Lab!

We welcome new PhD student Kapil Khanal to the SEA Lab! Visit the SEA Lab team page to learn more!

May 28, 2022

Congratulations to all the Spring 2022 Graduates from the SEA Lab!

Congratulations to SEA Lab members Ryan Cheng, Owais Khalid, and Ray Weng who graduated from Cornell University this spring! Ryan completed an MEng in Systems Engineering, Owais received an MEng in Chemical Engineering, and Ray completed his MEng degree in Computer Science.

May 11, 2022

Seawater mineral extraction project awarded New Frontier grant

Prof. Haji and the SEA Lab in collaboration with Prof. Wilson and the Wilson Research Group in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology were awarded one of seven New Frontier Grants from the College of Arts and Sciences to develop techniques for extracting the mineral lithium – a critical component of batteries, wind turbines, smart phones and many other devices – from seawater. Learn more about the project and other awards from the New Frontier Grants program that totaled $1.25 million featured on the Cornell Chronicle.

Apr 4, 2022

Rebecca McCabe awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations to SEA Lab member Rebecca McCabe on being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Rebecca is a PhD student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering working on the design of offshore wind and wave renewable energy systems.

Dec 17, 2021

Postdoctoral Position in Offshore Energy Modeling and Mapping

The SEA Lab is hiring a postdoc in offshore energy modeling and mapping! If you are excited about marine renewable energy, aquaculture, and developing tools for multi-use marine activities then we’d like to hear from you! The position is for 2-years with a start date as early as February 1, 2022. Apply by January 15, 2022. Please see https://bit.ly/SEA_Cornell_postdoc22  for more details.

Nov 30, 2021

PhD student Matthew Haefner presents research at ICAE 2021

PhD student Matthew Haefner presented his research titled “Integrated Pumped Hydro Reverse Osmosis System Optimization with Enhanced Reverse Osmosis Modeling” at the 2021 International Conference on Applied Energy. Matthew discussed improvements he made for modeling the reverse osmosis desalination process in the IPHRO system and presented preliminary results of multi-objective optimization of the system to maximize both freshwater and renewable energy generation.

Nov 14, 2021

PhD student Rebecca McCabe takes part in the 2021 MIT Energy Hackathon

PhD student Rebecca McCabe traveled to Boston to participate in the MIT Energy Hackathon. This weekend-long intensive event connects students from diverse academic backgrounds with industry partners to solve problems critical to emissions reduction. Rebecca’s team, Good Vibes Energy, tackled the Chevron-sponsored challenge of ocean-based CO2 sequestration. The team investigated various chemical and biological mechanisms for marine carbon capture and presented a synthesized portfolio recommendation to Chevron, accounting for technology readiness, deployment feasibility, and environmental risks.

Oct 26, 2021

Cornell spotlight of SEA Lab member Mumtaziah Faaz

SEA Lab member Mumtaziah Faaz was recently featured by Cornell Material Science and Engineering. In the spotlight, she discusses her work in the lab on looking at ways to reduce biofouling on mineral extracting polymers. Check out her spotlight on the Cornell MSE website to read more.

Oct 15, 2021

Welcome new members to the SEA Lab!

We welcome a number of new students to the SEA Lab this Fall 2021 semester! Meet new PhD students Matthew Haefner, Rebecca McCabe, and Olivia Murphy, and new MEng students Ryan Cheng, Mumtaziah Faaz, and Owais Khalid. Visit the SEA Lab team page to learn more!

Oct 1, 2021

Cornell spotlight of Prof. Maha Haji

Prof. Maha Haji was recently featured by Cornell Engineering. In the spotlight, she discusses her path to ocean engineering and her goals for the SEA Lab at Cornell. Check out her spotlight on the Cornell Engineering website to read more about her journey to engineering and her goals for the lab.

Sept 22, 2021

Research presented at OCEANS’21 Conference

Some of the latest results on the design and testing of the control system for Platform for Expanding AUV exploRation to Longer ranges (PEARL), an integrated autonomous floating servicing station that utilizes renewable energy to simultaneously provide AUV battery recharging and data uplink via new generation high-bandwidth low-Earth orbit satellite constellations, were presented at the OCEANS’21 conference. The paper titled ‘Autonomous Control of a Prototype Solar-powered Offshore AUV Servicing Platform’ is available for discussed the implementation of a low- cost autonomous control system consisting of off-the-shelf hardware components, built around an embedded Raspberry Pi microcomputer and Arduino microcontroller. The open-source MOOS-IvP marine robotics software was used to achieve autonomous operations, consisting of station-keeping and waypoint missions. You can download the paper from the conference website.

Aug 12, 2021

Research presented at the MIT A + B Applied Energy Symposium

Prof. Haji presented work on the ‘Optimization of a symbiotic wind-wave-storage farm for cost and load matching’ at the 2021 MIT A + B Applied Energy Symposium. Her presentation discussed how wave energy converters coupled with offshore wind turbines could not only reduce fatigue stress on the overall structure, but also could reduce the need for energy storage for offshore farms, ultimately lowering costs. In this work, it was shown that as renewable energy penetration levels increase, the optimal storage energy capacity required to minimize curtailed power increases on the order of 5 hours, 40 hours, and 150 hours for renewable energy penetration levels of 50%, 75%, and 100% respectively. View a recording of her presentation.

 

Apr 28, 2021

IEEE Seminar on Connecting the Oceans to Space

Prof. Haji presented some of the work she has been doing on the Platform for Expanding AUV exploRation to Longer ranges (PEARL), an integrated autonomous floating servicing station that utilizes renewable energy to simultaneously provide AUV battery recharging and data uplink via new generation high-bandwidth low-Earth orbit satellite constellations, at the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.

Mar 12, 2021

Ezra’s Round Table Systems Seminar on Mineral Extraction

Prof. Haji presented some of the ongoing work in the SEA Lab on designing symbiotic systems for passive seawater mineral extraction at the Ezra’s Round Table Systems Seminar. This presentation discussed how chemical adsorbents can be used to passively extract minerals from seawater. Symbiotic systems that integrate a mineral harvester with an existing offshore wind turbine have been shown to increase efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and decrease mineral production cost. This talk described the foregoing, and also present some promising initial work applying these design tools to minerals that are key to large-scale lithium-ion battery production, such as cobalt and lithium. The talk was recorded and is available to watch on the Cornell Systems Engineering YouTube page.

Dec 31, 2020

Matthew Haefner recieves the MEng degree. Congratulations!

Matthew Haefner successfully completed all the requirements for the MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering and graduated from the program in December 2020. Congratulations Matthew! In the SEA Lab, Matthew has been working on systems optimization of Integrated Pumped Hydro and Reverse Osmosis Systems (IPHROS) and is currently preparing a manuscript for publication on his work. In addition to his work in the SEA Lab, Matt has been working with Prof. Avedisian and has co-authored two papers on biofuel droplet combustion.

Dec 9, 2020

Prof. Haji selected as a Poster Presenter at the C3E 2020 Symposium

Prof. Haji was selected as a poster presenter at the the U.S. Clean Energy, Education, and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative’s 2020 Symposium. She presented the work she has been doing on the Development of a Platform for Expanding AUV exploRation to Longer ranges (PEARL). Her presentation detailed PEARL, an integrated autonomous floating servicing station that utilizes solar energy to simultaneously provide AUV battery recharging and data uplink via new generation high-bandwidth low-Earth orbit satellite constellations. Specifically, she discussed the how the energy generation and energy storage capabilities of PEARL drive key design decisions, and the renewable energy harvesting and energy management challenges of PEARL. Watch her poster introduction on YouTube.

Oct 15, 2020

Join our group!

The SEA Lab is hiring graduate students and postdocs! Email Prof. Haji (maha@cornell.edu) to learn more and apply. We recruit graduate students from the fields of Mechanical Engineering (deadline to apply: Dec 15, 2020) and Systems Engineering (deadline to apply: January 15, 2021).

Aug 12, 2020

Research presented at the MIT A + B Applied Energy Symposium

Prof. Haji presents work on the ‘Analysis of Integrated Pumped Hydro Reverse Osmosis Systems for Iran (IPHROSI) at the 2020 MIT A + B Applied Energy Symposium. Her presentation discussed how IPHROSI could enable Iran to meet both its energy and freshwater needs through renewable and sustainable technologies. A number of regions throughout Iran were highlighted for their suitability for the development of IPHROSI, finding there existed the potential to store over 25 TWh of renewable energy, more than all of the country’s electricity generation from oil in 2018 (23 TWh). These sites could supply both energy and freshwater to meet the needs of over 500 million people (over five times the projected population of Iran in 2050). View a recording of her presentation.

Feb 21, 2020

Presentation at Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

Prof. Haji presented recent work on ‘A Framework for the Design of Renewably Powered Offshore AUV Servicing Platforms‘ at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020, held in San Diego, CA. The talk detailed a framework for the co-optimization of the design and operation of underwater, surface, and space assets, which enable PEARL to overcome some of the past limitations in AUV servicing platforms. The co-design framework presented included systems for on-board renewable energy generation and satellite data transfer, and can be modified to servicing platforms using ocean renewable energy such as power from waves, tides, currents, or winds. Platforms like PEARL could enable AUVs to provide increased and reliable scientific data key to the sustainable growth of the Nation’s Blue Economy. View the presentation abstract on the conference website.