Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Kristopher LEASK

Orkney Islands Council

Kristopher currently serves as an elected councillor in Orkney Islands Council and as the policy manager for Community Energy Scotland. As a councillor Kristopher’s work focuses on sustainable development, decarbonisation, strategic planning, and biodiversity. In this role Kristopher also chairs the Sustainable Development Delivery Group within the Orkney community planning Partnership. As policy manager for Community Energy Scotland Kristopher oversees stakeholder engagement with government, MSP’s, and MP’s, and engagement on policy issues such as consultation, policy creation, and consultation with member organisations. Studying International Relations MA(Hons) (St Andrews) before undertaking an MSc in Renewable Energy Development (Herriot Watt – ICIT), Kristopher continues to work on issues which involve the inter-relation of energy relations, decarbonisation, and policy.

Brian Polagye

University of Washington

Brian currently works at the University of Washington as a Professor leading a research group focussing on marine renewable energy systems including laboratory experiments to understand the hydrodynamics of tidal turbines and wave converters, as well as field studies of their environmental effects. The group’s current environmental research involves measurements of radiated noise around marine energy converters using drifting hydrophones and developing algorithms to detect, localize, and identify noise sources. Brian is involved in several key, relevant research groups including the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, TEAMER (Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research) Technical Board as well as formerly the director of the Pacific Marine Energy Centre. He received his Bachelors of Science and Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2000, Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Washington in 2005 and finally his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Washington in 2009.


Alexander Gilliand

Scottish Government

Alexander currently works for the Scottish Government’s Offshore Wind Directorate as a Senior Research Programme Officer as part of the Scottish Marine Energy Research (ScotMER) Programme.

Alexander and the ScotMER Team collaborate with wider government, academia, industry (developers and fishing), environmental charities and statutory nature conservation bodies to improve the evidence base on the interactions between offshore renewables, the marine environment and socioeconomics.  

The ScotMER programme meets with stakeholders to discuss key evidence gaps in our knowledge, which are captured on evidence maps. Together with stakeholders these evidence gaps are then formed research ideas which are developed internally by Scottish Government into research projects and taken forward by the ScotMER programme. Project outputs are then made publicly available on the Scottish Government website, presented at conferences such as EIMR, and feed into the National Marine Plan, Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Energy, as well as licensing and consenting decisions.

In his current role Alexander works across the ecosystem, supporting research into physical processes, benthic ecology, fish and fisheries, diadromous fish, marine mammals, ornithology and socioeconomics. He received his Bachelors of Science with Honors in Biological Science with Management (Ecology) and Masters of Science in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health from the University of Edinburgh.

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