Rodrigo Tommasini joined us in the spring of this year. We caught up with him and asked him a few questions about what attracted him to Marine Power Systems, what he is working on now and how that supports the development of our technology.

What attracted you to the role at Marine Power Systems?

I spent over three years working for Petrobras in Brazil, primarily in sub-sea operations, equipment installation in deep water and predicting operational weather windows to support that. Petrobras currently output over 2.84 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and whilst that represents a feat of engineering in its own right, I knew I wanted to pursue a different future.

So, in line with energy transition trends and my own view of the world, I too wanted to make the transition from oil and gas to renewables, but at the same time make sure that my expertise and previous experience could benefit the business I ended up working for.

So, I embarked on a PhD in the dynamics of deep-water operations in different environments, run in partnership between the University of Campinas in Brazil and Bristol University in the UK, where I completed my studies. The unique nature of our floating platform technology and the applicability to harnessing wind and wave energy in deep water makes my previous work experience and academic studies particularly relevant.

I arrived in Swansea with my family a few months ago and so far so good!

What are you working on at the moment and what is it like to work at MPS?

My work is focussed on the structural engineering of our platform technology and the associated anchoring and mooring system. Moving from conceptual designs I use industry leading simulation and modelling software, Rhino, Orca3D, OrcaFlex and OrcaWave to run simulations ahead of scale tank and flume testing.

Not only do I need to understand the technology from a structural design perspective but also the materials used to manufacture our technology. That includes creating design concepts that reduce the total amount of materials required and therefore operational costs but it also applies to the anchoring and mooring system where we use a combination of synthetic and more traditional materials.

It feels like I am working with a very smart team here at MPS and the environment is a very dynamic one that allows us to create better solutions and much more quickly when compared to working in a big multi-national oil and gas company. I really like that. A strong management team means that you are both challenged and well supported in your role. For that reason, I feel like I achieve a lot on a day-to-day basis here at MPS.

What about when you are out of the office?

I grew up in a small town in Brazil some 300kms north of Rio de Janeiro and whilst I have spent time in Sao Paulo too, I prefer living in a smaller town with good access to the outdoors. Since arriving in the UK two years ago my two young kids have learnt to speak English and they are now in the local primary school. As you can imagine they keep me pretty busy when I am not working!