Catherine Leech

Project: Hydro-environmental characteristics and modelling of wake dynamics of turbines and sluices in lagoons and barrages

Supervisors: Dr Reza Ahmadian and Professor Roger Falconer


The great tidal range of the UK is, as yet, an untapped resource, estimated to be capable of providing up to 20% of the UK’s national energy demand (Waters and Aggidis, 2016). However, besides technological issues, obstacles to the use of this technology lie in concerns over many unknown environmental impacts that tidal range structures (TRSs) could cause. This research seeks to address questions around flow structures initiated by TRSs, which impact both the technical and environmental performance of a scheme, by focusing on experimental and numerical modelling of turbine and sluice spacing in TRSs.


Catherine is a PhD student based in the Hydro-environmental Research Centre of the School of Engineering at Cardiff University with interests in sustainable energy and the environmental impacts of hydraulic structures. Catherine previously studied an undergraduate degree in Environmental Geoscience and an MSc in Sustainable Energy and Environment, both at Cardiff University, producing a dissertation on the impacts of the proposed Severn Barrage. It was this project that lead to Catherine’s current interest in Tidal Range Energy which is the focus of her postgraduate research.

The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) Young Professionals Network

Catherine has served for two terms on the committee for the Cardiff Chapter of the IAHR Young Professional’s Network. This network exists to bring together members of the scientific community, from both academia and industry, to share current research and practice in the field of water resources. During her time as president of this society she has helped to steadily grow the network through a series of seminars, social gatherings, and site visits. For more information about their activities, please visit @YpnCardiff through Twitter.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable energy
  • Environmental engineering
  • Environmental and hydrological modelling
  • Data management and analysis


2020 Industry Day Research Poster

2018 Summer School Research Poster