Emma Whettall

        Head and shoulder mug shot of Emma Whettall

PhD student

I am an oceanographer and interested in small-scale tidal energy projects and the hydrodynamics of tidal energy.

Contact details:
  • emma.whettall@sams.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)1631 559 232
  • +44 (0)7805 858 268

Community Scale Tidal Power - is it feasible in the INTERREG VA area?

The coastal waters surrounding west Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern Republic of Ireland are poised to generate significant levels of electricity from their abundant tidal resources. There is increasing interest in small scale tidal energy projects to decarbonise energy supply of remote communities. But, what dictates a potential site’s suitability? Marine environments are famously harsh, variable and highly complicated therefore, fully understanding their hydrodynamics is paramount if tidal energy is to be a success in the future.

My PhD research

  • >explores the nature of the tidal resource, characterising and investigating the small-scale flow structure and variability of contrasting candidate sites. Something that has been over looked by current assessment practices but has key implications for the survivability, reliability and operability of a tidal current turbine.

The outcome will be an improved understanding of tidal flow dynamics that can then be used to underpin resource assessment and better predict the suitability of a specific area for the installation of community scale tidal energy developments.



Dr Andrew Dale, SAMS

Dr Ian Davies, Marine Scotland

Dr Wesley Flannery, Queens University Belfast



Bryden Centre and EU INTERREG VA (managed by SEUPB)



University of the Highlands and Islands


Since 2018 PhD student at SAMS UHI

2012-16 Oceanography MSci. University of Southampton. First Class Honours


Prizes and scholarships

Oceanography Prize from IMarEST

Ocean and Earth Science Progression Scholarship


Training courses

MetOcean Awareness Course. IMarEST

Blue Growth Summer School. Ghent University