Wave power drives SETSquared international studentship

June 2, 2011 by
Filed under: News 

A student from Southampton has won a place in the prestigious Kauffman Global Scholars Program.

Alistair Shepherd, 22, is in the final year of a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Southampton and will be the only UK student participating in the Program in 2011. Applicants from across the 75,000 students in the SETsquared partnership of Bath, Bristol, Exter, Surrey and Southampton were assessed on their ideas for high-growth businesses, and Shepherd’s winning entry was based around an innovative approach to exploiting wave energy. The judging panel chose Shepherd because they saw great potential both in him, and in the wave power device.

Shepherd’s innovation uses the motion of ships to generate electricity in a device that is inside the ship itself. As the device is not immersed in water, it overcomes the problems of sea damage that affect other wave power solutions.

“The potential for this approach is enormous – wave power could replace diesel auxiliary generators on millions of ships worldwide, saving money for the ship owners and reducing carbon emissions,” said Shepherd. “I’m an engineer by trade, and the Global Scholars Program is going to be great experience and will help me develop the wave power device.”

The 2012 Global Scholars Program, a program of the US-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will run from January to June 2012, and provides participants with an opportunity to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and ideas, competences and capabilities. The Global Scholars Program exposes students to some of America’s most innovative entrepreneurial professors, experts, universities and companies. The Program includes six months in the US, funded by SETsquared, with an elite group of Global Scholars picked from other countries.

As part of the program, Shepherd will also spend a year as ‘entrepreneur in residence’ at the University of Southampton, enabling him to develop his business concept with support from the SETsquared team and includes a paid role to help advocate and develop student enterprise activities across the SETsquared partnership.

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