A Sandia researcher has been recognized for his outstanding contribution to the controls industry in the field of renewable ocean energy. Giorgio Bacelli, a researcher for the Sandia National Laboratories Water Power Technology department, coauthored the paper that won the 2016 IEEE Control Systems Magazine Outstanding Paper Award. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics engineers (IEEE) gives the award annually to recognize the article that offers the greatest benefits to the members of the Control Systems Society, according to a letter from the institute.

Bacelli said he co-wrote the paper, titled “Energy-Maximizing Control of Wave Energy Convertors: The Development of Control System Technology to Optimize Their Operation,” with John Ringwood and Francesco Fusco while completing his doctorate at Maynooth University in Ireland in 2014.

The winning paper presents new numerical methods for formulating control problems for wave energy converters (WECs). Bacelli said the new methodology will help developers integrate control systems into WEC designs, which will result in greater power generation.

At Sandia, Bacelli continues to develop advanced control systems for WEC devices, pushing the wave energy industry toward commercialization. With more than 50% of the U.S. population living within 50 miles of coastlines, WEC devices offer America the opportunity to develop a vast, untapped domestic energy resource.