Dedication to the late Professor Ian Bryden

Published: 2019-06-04
Updated: 2019-06-04

My life would not be the same today if it were not for Prof. Ian Bryden. I would not be doing the work I am doing, in Ian’s beloved field of ocean renewable energy, and I may not even have the family I love if it were not for Ian.

Initially, Ian started as somewhat of a mythical figure to me. While I was searching for a masters project at the University of Southampton, I was fortunate enough to get an email from Prof. Bakr Bahaj, who would later hand me one of Ian’s articles regarding the exciting new technology of tidal current energy conversion. This would set me on the road to becoming an ocean energy researcher, and it would not be long before I would meet Ian again, while being interviewed to become a PhD student under the Supergen Marine programme.

I began my PhD in Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen, with Ian as my first supervisor, which would soon become a PhD in the University of Edinburgh, following Ian’s return to the home of his PhD (Ian would later be drawn back to the north to join the University of Highlands and Islands in Inverness). It was at the University of Edinburgh that I met Lucy, my amazing long-term partner and mother to my son.

Completing my PhD was not easy. There were many moments when I considered quitting and it took substantially longer to finish than it should have done. Nonetheless, Ian always supported me, and he was always willing to trust in my ability to meet my potential.

Ian was also a good laugh. I fondly remember being regaled with tales of Subarus and Wankel engines, and it was always fun to spot Ian’s leather jacket being sported in his (numerous) television interviews. It was always a pleasure to be in his company and I am sad that I will not have the chance to speak with him again.

Ian and I also shared another geeky interest, that of Star Trek. I must admit to a tinge of jealousy at Ian’s collection of Star Trek models, proudly displayed in his office – I wish I had the courage to be so openly Trekkie! The overarching theme of Star Trek is exploration, which is the same reason that we do science. I’m proud to have published an article (alongside my co-authors) in Ian’s special Issue in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and I hope, Ian, that you would be proud of our achievements (and maybe enjoy the content, too!). Thank you for your faith in me and for making all this possible, and for teaching me to boldly go where no one has gone before…