Marine Renewables Canada adds industry expertise to 2018 Board of Directors

Marine Renewables Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its 2018 Board of Directors. The new directors bring experience and strong expertise from the marine renewable energy and broader energy sectors. The three new directors also add representation from across Canada — British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia — supporting and strengthening the association’s national mandate.

The new members of the 2018 Marine Renewables Canada Board of Directors are:

Carys Burgess, Environmental Manager

Carys has more than 25 years of practice in marine science, including field and laboratory backgrounds.  Her experience encompasses positions at universities, government, industry and consulting and has focused on research, environmental monitoring and assessment and consultation. Carys is experienced in a variety of business areas with a focus on the application of Environmental Assessment, both comprehensive and screening levels, and environmental policies pursuant to regulations at federal, provincial and municipal levels.

In her current role at Emera, as Environmental Manager for the Cape Sharp Tidal project, Carys is responsible for leading the process for obtaining federal and provincial consents for tidal turbine deployments, leading and managing the delivery of the environmental monitoring and research programs and the procurement and management of consultant services used for the design and execution of the environmental studies and effects monitoring program. In addition, Carys manages and conducts aspects of liaisons with all stakeholders, including government, and leads engagement with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia on behalf of Cape Sharp Tidal.

Eric Bibeau, Ph.D., P.Eng., Director
Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre

A McGill graduate in mechanical engineering, Dr. Bibeau obtained his Masters and PhD from the University of British Columbia. He then worked as a researcher at Atomic Energy Canada Limited performing large-scale experiments of CANDU reactor components.  He then became CEO of a high tech company performing industrial modelling for the pulp and paper industry, mainly for black liquor and biomass boilers. He currently is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineer Department at the University of Manitoba in the area of renewable energy, involved in R&D in the area of distributed renewable energy systems using hydrokinetic turbines, biomass CHP, passive cooling, and solar energy.  He held the NSERC/Manitoba Hydro Industrial Research Chair for 10 years where he became well acquainted with distributed renewable energy technologies.

Dr. Bibeau contributes towards energy plans by applying energy modelling to implement renewable energy technologies based on local resources.  He develops novel energy technologies, and has acquired an excellent technical understanding of various emerging renewable energy technologies that are being developed and their potential for being economically viable. He has authored over 170 technical publications in the last 6 years in renewable energy and has a hands-on overview of current and emerging technologies to implement for distributed renewable applications. Dr. Bibeau is well acquainted with the barriers to implement new distributed renewable energy systems. He develops renewable energy curriculum to teach renewable energy, energy modelling, and energy policies to graduate and undergraduate engineers. Recently, he has co-founded the non-profit company Turtle Island Innovations to accelerate the development of cost-effective renewable technologies to address climate change in first nation and remote communities.

He leads the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre (CHTTC) to advance the marine energy industry, contributing to develop technologies to accelerate its cost competitiveness. The CHTTC attracts turbine manufacturers and developers and focuses on life-cycle project solutions for fully integrated systems. The centre offers a commercial setting with the following assets: regulatory approval, equipment for manned and unmanned deployment and retrieval, a connection to local grid and test equipment to study the impact of the environment on turbines and the impact of the turbines on aquatic life. The CHTTC is located on the Winnipeg River downstream of the Seven Sisters dam.  In partnership with developers, he helps secure funding to advance the technology readiness level of hydrokinetic turbine technologies. His research group is currently working to reduce cost of marine power cables, simplify anchors, eliminate the infrastructure required to deploy/retrieval turbines, develop a method to map energetic river sites across Canada, and provide a low cost approach to quantify the hydrokinetic resource in a river to support project financing to install turbines.

Brad Buckham, Associate Professor
University of Victoria Institute for Integrated Energy Systems
& Director, West Coast Wave Initiative

Dr. Brad Buckham (BEng, 1997; PhD, 2003) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems at the University of Victoria, and is a licensed PEng in BC.   His technical specialization is the dynamics modeling of multi-body floating offshore systems with an emphasis on mooring dynamics, and over the last 15 years has been involved in numerous industry driven projects in which system design and operation is complicated by the presence of mooring lines or cabled telemetry.

Dr. Buckham’s research portfolio spans several facets of the marine renewable energy space. His team of researchers at UVic has a track record in the development of technology for towed, autonomous and remotely operated undersea vehicles used to monitor and service submerged infrastructure.  Between 2006-2010 he was the Scientific Advisor for SyncWave Energy Inc. and also served on the steering committee for the 2012 Marine Renewable Energy technology Roadmap.  Since 2008, he has been the Director of the West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI) – a collaborative research program investigating the potential for ocean wave energy to supply remote coastal communities and broader regions in Pacific Canada.

In building the WCWI, he has worked closely with numerous private sector developers of wave energy conversion devices to produce comprehensive resource assessments of the wave resource off the BC coast, complete detailed simulation based performance assessments of wave energy converter designs and determine how wave supplied power can reduce cost of energy in diesel reliant communities along the BC coast.  Through 2016, the WCWI was supported through more than $3M in grants from Natural Resources Canada, NSERC, the BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.  The WCWI’s  activities include continued operation of a fleet of 8 moored wind-wave monitoring platforms off of the BC coast, and management of a coastal model that provide wave forecasts across the BC coast.  Moving into 2017 and beyond, the program is expanding its field monitoring operations through investment by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and is growing the effort to use marine renewables data assembled to date to build the economic rationale for incorporating wave energy converters into remote community electrical grids.
Through the diverse array of academic-industry collaborative projects he facilitates, and the progression of graduate students from his research team at UVic into the private sector, Dr. Buckham both supports and benefits from a network of professionals working across the full spectrum of the Canadian marine renewable energy sector.  His contributions to research and training in the marine renewables sector have been recognized by the BC Innovation Council, Natural Resources Canada and Mitacs Canada.

The terms for the new directors officially began their terms on January 1, 2018.

Marine Renewables Canada would also like to thank the following outgoing members of the Board of Directors for their contributions and leadership: Jessica McIlroy (BC Cleantech CEO Alliance), Fabian Wolk (Rockland Scientific), Graham Curren (Horizon Maritime) and Dana Morin (who will remain on the 2018 Board as Past Chair).

For full Board of Directors’ biographies, please visit

About Marine Renewables Canada:
Marine Renewables Canada is the country’s wave, tidal, and river current energy association representing technology and project developers, utilities, researchers, and the energy and marine supply chain. Since 2004, the organization has worked to identify and foster collaborative opportunities, provide information and education, and represent the best interests of the sector to advance the development of a marine renewable energy industry in Canada that can be globally competitive.

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Media contact:
Elisa Obermann
Marine Renewables Canada