Dr Mark Coughlan
- Postdoctoral Researcher
Dr Mark Coughlan is a postdoctoral researcher in the iCRAG geohazards research spoke under the supervision of Dr Mike Long, working in conjunction with Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions Ltd. Mark graduated with a BSc in Geology from University College Cork in 2009. He completed his PhD in Marine Geology in 2014, also from University College Cork, having spent a one year placement at the MARUM Centre, University of Bremen. Following his PhD, Mark spent three years working for renewable energy developers Gaelectric as a Project Manager in their Offshore Wind Section and as a Project Geologist on the Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) project at Islandmagee. His general research interests include offshore Quaternary stratigraphy, seafloor sediment transport and hydrodynamics, seabed morphodynamics linked to glacial processes, marine geohazards and anthropogenic impacts on the seafloor.
Ireland is recognised as having one of the best offshore renewable energy resources in the world. Our extensive maritime area and energetic offshore wind regime means we have the capability of meeting much of our energy demand through offshore wind power generation, as well as de-carbonising our economy, helping us to reach our EU climate and energy targets. Through a combination of seabed mapping and technical analysis, my project (EASTWIND) assesses the suitability of sites to support the deployment of infrastructure associated with offshore wind projects (e.g. turbine foundations and cables). This allows developers to de-risk projects prior to construction.
The EASTWIND project will identify and investigate the primary geological and geotechnical challenges to developing offshore wind in the Irish Sea, including such issues as seabed sediment dynamics and challenging subsurface deposits. Constraint mapping will be carried out to delineate the extent of these challenges geographically and technical assessments will be performed to offer mitigation measures and de-risking strategies in the case of specific issues. As a result, a central geotechnical database for the Irish Sea will be developed as a public good resource compiling new and existing data pertinent to offshore wind deployment. Without this project, a significant baseline of data critical for establishing a sustainable marine renewable energy development plan would be absent and incumbent on developers to provide which may impede development through adverse fiscal implications.
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Protection from Earth's Hazards
- Geohazard, Glacial Landforms, Marine, Quaternary, Sedimentology, Coastal & Material Stability