Matthew Hall

Assistant Professor

Email:
mthall@upei.ca
Phone:
(902) 620-5109
Office:
School of Sustainable Design Engineering, 322

Dr. Hall's research website

 

 

Education

  • Diploma in Engineering, University of Prince Edward Island
  • BScE, Mechanical Engineering, University of New Brunswick
  • MASc, Mechanical Engineering, University of Victoria
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of Maine

Research Interests

Stated broadly, I’m interested in tackling engineering challenges to energy sustainability through innovative modelling and design/optimization techniques. My most recent research is in design, modelling, and testing of floating offshore wind turbines. Other interests include land-based wind energy, floating platform and mooring modelling, wave energy conversion, design optimization, and local renewable energy integration. 

My research draws from a variety of areas including fluid mechanics, multi-body dynamics, mechatronics, algorithms, design, and optimization. At the University of Maine I created a hybrid modelling approach for floating wind turbines that combines hardware-in-the-loop simulation with wave basin testing. I plan to continue advancing this approach at UPEI. An ongoing project is developing and maintaining a mooring dynamics model called MoorDyn that is widely used for simulating offshore renewable energy devices.  Other, more locally-focussed research projects are also on the horizon. Prospective graduate students are welcome to inquire about opportunities. You can read more about my research at www.matt-hall.ca.

Background

I began my engineering studies in the design-oriented program here at UPEI. The challenge of energy sustainability quickly caught my attention as a topic where climate change mitigation and mechanical engineering intersect. I completed my BSc in mechanical engineering at the University of New Brunswick, then switched coasts to the University of Victoria and its Institute for Integrated Energy Systems. I completed my master’s research there on floating offshore wind turbines, a nascent technology opening up new frontiers for wind energy. I then followed that focus to the University of Maine, where North America’s first grid-connecting offshore wind turbine was being deployed. 

At UMaine, I participated in the project designing a full-scale floating wind turbine called VolturnUS before shifting focus to my PhD research. My first research project was creating a mooring dynamics model called MoorDyn, which now provides a core capability to two of the main wind and wave energy simulators developed by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The end of my PhD was marked by demonstrating a hybrid approach to floating wind turbine modelling in which a wave basin test is coupled in real time with a wind turbine simulation. By also conducting conventional wind-wave basin tests, we completed what may be the first one-to-one experimental validation of the hybrid approach for modelling floating wind turbines.

The study of floating wind turbines has a lot in common with wave energy, and this is an interest I’ve maintained by participating in testing (including Wave Energy Prize trials at UMaine and a month-long test campaign at Memorial University of Newfoundland) and collaborating on modelling (including a visiting collaboration at Politecnico di Torino, Italy). Through MoorDyn and new experimental capabilities we’re developing at UPEI, I hope to continue working on wave energy as well as offshore wind research.