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Ocean Engineering & Energy

Advancing renewable energy research and development with the largest university-based research team focused on floating offshore wind, next-generation turbines, optimized novel hull/mooring concepts, and coastal resiliency. 

VolturnUS Hull Technology

The UMaine-developed, patented, VolturnUS floating concrete hull technology can support wind turbines in water depths of 45 meters or more and has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of offshore wind. The VolturnUs technology is the culmination of more than a decade of collaborative research and development conducted by the University of Maine-led DeepCwind Consortium.

New England Aqua Ventus

New England Aqua Ventus I is an approximately 11 Megawatt (MW) floating offshore wind demonstration project to develop a clean, renewable energy source off Maine’s shores.

The turbine is held in position by three marine mooring lines securely anchored to the seabed and connected by subsea cable to the Maine power grid. The project goals are to demonstrate the innovative design of the VolturnUS with a full-size offshore wind turbine, work with local contractors and manufacturers to generate local economic benefit, create and keep Maine jobs, and provide renewable energy now and in the future.

Synopsis of the project and its future


An advanced metocean buoy outfitted with LIDAR that can be used in remote marine environments to provide high-quality, low-cost offshore wind resource data, metocean monitoring, and ecological characterization capabilities.

Next-Generation Wind Turbines

ARPA-E Research Projects

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) invests in the research and development of cutting-edge, high-impact projects. ARPA-E awardees are working to develop brand new technologies to create, store and utilize energy. ARPA-E is funding two ASCC projects through their ATLANTIS program.

Program Objectives
– Investing in a diverse domestic energy sector boosts grid resiliency and reduces infrastructure vulnerability.
Economy – Floating offshore wind development will further reduce the cost of production and open increase access to wind resources.
Environment – Investment in offshore wind technology lessens our dependence on fossil fuels, reduces power sector emissions, and increases clean energy availability.

NASA Floater

15 MW Ultra-light Concrete Hull with Sea-water Ballast Tuned Mass Dampers
An ultra-lightweight, corrosion-resistant, concrete floating offshore wind turbine platform equipped with NASA motion mitigation technology, originally developed to reduce vibrations in rockets, will lead to lighter platforms, increase turbine performance, and lower the cost of energy produced. 


We are working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to validate new, optimized designs for floating offshore wind. The Floating Offshore-wind and Controls Advanced Laboratory (FOCAL) experimental program will generate critical public data sets to advance the design of next-generation floating offshore wind turbines.

Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab

Combined wind-wave simulation basin with tow carriage and variable depth floor

A 1:50-scale offshore model testing facility that accurately simulates towing tests, variable water depths, and
scaled wind and wave conditions that represent some of the worst storms possible anywhere on Earth.

The W2

In 2015, the Center received its largest philanthropic gift to date from the Harold Alfond Foundation to name the $13.8 million Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Labs.

Matthew Tomasko,M. Sc., M.B.A

Matthew Tomasko,
M. Sc., M.B.A

Business Manager

Wave Basin

30 meters long by 9 m wide (98 x 30 ft) with a working depth of floor of 0 – 4.5 meters. The basin contains a 16-paddle wave generator, a beach, a moving wind wall, and an adjustable floor.

Multi-directional Wave Generator

The 16-paddle wavemaker can simulate regular waves and all standard spectra as well as custom random seas with directional waves and a range of frequencies. It can produce wave angles in excess of +/- 60 degrees relative to the basin centerline. Waves can be the maximum height of 0.6 m at T = 1.65 seconds, and 0.8 m at T = 2.3 seconds.

Towing System

The system has a maximum speed of 1 meters/second (3.3 feet/second)

Wind Generator

The 5 m x 3.5 m x 6 m wind machine can generate wind speeds up to 12 m/s with flow direction relative to waves up to 180 degrees.

In-House Model Design and Fabrication Capabilities

Fabrication can be completed with a variety of materials including metals, composites, plastics, foams, and others. Equipment in the ASCC lab facilities allows for in-house fabrication using a water jet, welder, CNC machine, 3D printer, and other options.


The W2 data acquisition system is built on industry-leading National Instruments hardware and can accommodate a large variety of instrumentation including force, acceleration, and velocity measurements. Non-contact motion tracking above and below the water is made possible by two linked Qualisys camera systems. Flexible synchronization and data I/O allow for integrating hardware- or software-in-the-loop control systems and supplemental data acquisition systems. Custom instrumentation and integration support are available.


Dr. Anthony Viselli, P.E.
Dr. Anthony 
Viselli, P.E.

Chief Engineer

Matthew Tomasko,M. Sc., M.B.A
Matthew Tomasko,
M. Sc., M.B.A

Business Manager

Hannah Berten, M.Sc.
Berten, M.Sc.

Project Engineer

Matthew Fowler, M.Sc.
Fowler, M.Sc.

W2 Basin Test Manager

Collaborating Faculty

Dr. Kimberly Huguenard

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Andrew Goupee
Dr. Andrew

Donald A. Grant Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Richard Kimball
Dr. Richard

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Presidential Professor in Ocean Engineering and Energy

Dr. Lauren Ross
Dr. Lauren

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Amrit Shankar Verma
Dr. Amrit Shankar Verma

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Matthew Tomasko,M. Sc., M.B.A
Matthew Tomasko,
M. Sc., M.B.A

Business Manager

Contact Offshore Engineering & Energy

  • General Information

    Thank you for contacting the Offshore Engineering & Energy Team at the Advanced Structures & Composites Center. We look forward to working with you!

Research Overview

The Ocean Engineering & Energy team is researching and developing innovative solutions to address climate change. Research is conducted in a state-of-the-art facility that includes the Alfond W2 (wind wave) Ocean Engineering Lab. The W2 is equipped with a high-performance rotatable wind machine over a multi-directional wave basin. The facility accurately simulates tow tests, variable water depths, and scaled wind and wave conditions that represent some of the worst storms possible anywhere on earth. 
The Ocean Engineering & Energy team collaborates with businesses and other research institutions in developing products for the marine economy while offering hands-on training for students. These products include ocean energy devices such as floating offshore wind turbines, marine hydrokinetic devices (wave energy converters, tidal energy, etc); aquaculture technology; improved boat and ship hulls; waterfront infrastructure such as bridges, piers, docks, and port facilities; as well as systems to protect coastal cities from effects of erosion and extreme storms.

Offshore Wind Research

In the News

Portland Press Herald: Contractors, developer promote offshore wind jobs deal for Maine

MaineBiz: Floating offshore wind is a new industry by Maine, for Maine

Top U.S. Department of Energy Official Tours the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center