About Nicholas’ Sponsor
The IDCORE training is very broad creating a breadth of knowledge that has been invaluable to Nicholas when working with his project sponsor, EDF, who have been strong supporters of IDCORE since it was first set up. They have sponsored students in most cohorts, and a number of times they have sponsored more than one from their R&D centres in London and in Chatou, France.
Nicholas has found that EDF always have positive things to say about IDCORE, and they are keen to attract the students, who are recognised as having the capability to explore areas of speculative research. Past IDCORE work is still being used within the company.
Nicholas is hopeful that the same will be true of his project, a study of UK auctions of Contracts for Difference - the renewable energy subsidy mechanism used by the UK Government. He has developed a strategic simulation of the auctions which uses artificial intelligence to analyse auction outcomes. This supports development of optimal bidding strategies and allows policy makers to explore the impacts that auction specifications can have on supporting this sector. He is currently looking forward to seeing the model applied in a live auction environment, providing insights as the team develops their bids.
He chose to go to a large energy company like EDF because of the exposure this would give him to the whole offshore wind industry. Not only is he getting to see the development process that his project focuses on, but he is also getting exposure to operation, maintenance and construction strategies. In addition, he has been using EDF’s in-house cost modelling tools to provide analysis for a range of internal stakeholders, including developing its application to floating wind projects. The benefit of an EngD is that it allows all these different experiences to be written up as part of the final thesis.
Nicholas has really enjoyed becoming part of the renewables R&D team at EDF, a transition that has been made even easier by the support he has received from other members of his IDCORE cohort.