Research

Thomas Adcock's research interests.

Thomas Adcock on survey ship off Calvados coast; probably doing e-mailsMy research looks at the ocean environment — how we understand this and design for it. Topics I am interested in range from marine renewables, to understanding the risks of storm surges, and looking at how we design against tsunamis.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in graduate studies in any of these subjects. Unfortunately I am unable to supervise non-Oxford students for internships.

Some ongoing projects are described below.

Statistics and non-linear physics of extreme waves (rogue waves)

In many areas around the world wind generated waves are the dominant environmental load. Around extreme wave events non-linear physics plays a significant role changing the shape and dynamics of extreme events. At present, my work is focusing on how the natural variation in the underlying wave shape influences the non-linearity.

Resource assessment of tidal stream energy

Tidal stream turbines extract energy from fast flowing tidal currents. This energy is reliable and its generation will have no carbon dioxide emissions. I work on the understanding and quantifying the nature of the resource.

Application of machine learning to the ocean environment

Scientists and engineers are getting better at measuring large amounts of data from the ocean. We also run models of all different types which also tell us something useful about the marine environment. As engineers we need to make sense of these large data sets and be able to make robust predictions from them. This theme, which at present focusses on detailed topics such as predicting tidal currents or estimating the size of the next wave, aims to use techniques developed in the machine learning community to tackle these problems.

Analysis of storm surges

Storm surges are atmospheric disturbances to the sea level and can lead to flooding and damage to low lying coastal areas. My work seeks to understand these better through physical modelling and analysis of field data.

Mulberry Harbours

I am interested in engineering history, particularly the Mulberry Harbours which were used during the Second World War as part of Operation Overlord (the invasion of Normandy). My Grandfather was one of the engineers who worked on their design and construction.