Amelia Couldrey is a senior scientist who specialises in marine scour. She has been at HR Wallingford since 2016.
What do you do at HR Wallingford?
I primarily help design scour protection for offshore wind farms. I also do a lot of work looking at morphology to understand how seafloor processes work
Can you describe your background?
I went to University of Southampton and I studied there for a master's in oceanography and then stayed on for a PhD, looking at scour around shipwreck sites.
And how did you end up at HR Wallingford?
During my PhD I went to conference in Perth, where I met Richard Whitehouse and John Harris. In fact, I sat next to Richard on the bus out to the meal and we got chatting. I already knew about the company, but it was then I realised HR Wallingford was just down the road from where I grew up. And it's been really great to return home.
What is it like to work in your team?
I'm really privileged to work with an amazing team of scientists here. I think that they all bring different things to the group. Not everyone has an oceanography background, some people are engineers, so everyone has a slightly different approach.
What does your average day look like?
As well our offshore renewable projects, we also work with cable and pipeline installers, and produce metocean forecasts. On top of that, we do quite a lot of research, meaning I work with lots of different kinds of data – sometimes I'm coding, sometimes working with GIS. It means that every day is extremely varied
What challenges are you seeing because of the transition to renewables?
Offshore wind farms are now being built in deeper waters and in locations that have more environmental challenges, such as: moving features like sandbanks; typhoons, and earthquakes. So, we're having to help our clients produce solutions for these more complicated environments.
Luckily, we have brilliant facilities, including the fast flow facility where we do a lot of scale-modelling. but it's really important that we're able to combine this physical modelling with numerical modelling to answer some of these more complicated issues.
Amelia works on offshore renewable projects and metocean forecasting
What does working at HR Wallingford mean to you?
Sustainability is something that we all care about here, and it’s really important that the work I do has an impact . The world is at a tipping point and need to start putting everything into action that has been promised at conferences like COP26. I do think we have the possibility to help move things forward in a positive way at HR Wallingford.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I particularly like being a STEM ambassador. I go into schools, and teach kids about the importance of engineering and science. It’s really important that we inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists, as there a skills gap in the field, particularly for women.
What do you do it your spare time?
I really enjoy indoor climbing, so I go bouldering. It's a style of climbing where you don't wear a harness, sort of quick low-level stuff. There's now a group of us that go from work, which is a great way to get to know people better.
I also like being in the outdoors and in nature. There's a great local charity called the Earth Trust, which manages a few sites, including the Whittenham Clumps. A couple years back, I was the fundraising champion for HR Wallingford, and I raised money for the charity. I really enjoyed that, and we did quite a lot, including a treasure hunt and a Pancake Day event.