Alan Owen Profile Picture
Title: Dr
First Name: Alan
Surname: Owen
Position: Director of CUSP
Telephone: +44 (0)1224 262360

PhD, PgCert, BEng (Hons 1st class), CEng, CEE


Dr Owen is a practical, time served engineer with 25 years experience in renewable energy technologies and sustainable development. After achieving a first class BEng (Hons) in 2002, he completed his PhD in Marine Hydrodynamics in 2007. Increasingly concerned that sustainability is seen only as a techno-centric issue, Dr Owen created the Centre for Understanding Sustainability in Practice (CUSP) in 2009 with a view to creating interdisciplinary projects with a particular focus on the behavioural change/technology interface. Since then CUSP has attracted over £1.8 million funding from many different sources, providing research and consultancy services for sustainable food/energy/water nexus projects in UK, South East Asia and West Africa, interfacing with the full social range from indigenous fishing communities to government leaders. Dr Owen has published peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters and has provided renewable energy advice to BBC programme makers.


BBC Great Big Energy Saving Challenge

Kunjungan Centre for Understanding Sustainable Practice 

Ocean Energy Centre of Excellence for Indonesia

 e-harbours project

Areas of Expertise

  • Marine Energy
  • Sustainable energy & appropriate technology implementation
  • Environmental impact and risk management
  • Small community energy use
  • Energy policy and strategy

Portfolio of Projects

Consultancy work – BBC, Rotech, East Coast Oil and Gas, Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeen City Council, etc
Research - DFID, British Council, UNDP, Northern Research Partnership, Government of Maldives, Govt of Indonesia, Scottish Govt. European Commission,


Alan is course leader for MSc Offshore Renewables, course creator of MSc Energy and Sustainability (both within RGU) and teaches on UG engineering design and build projects and modules. He is first supervisor for a number of RGU PhD students, has successfully supervised 6 PhD students to completion, and has co-supervised PhD students with Aberdeen University. He has acted as external examiner for other PhD students and is an External Examiner for Queens University, Belfast.


Owen A. “Tidal Current Energy, Origins & Challenges”, Book Chapter, Future Energy 2nd Ed, Elsevier 2014

Garniati L, Owen A. “Energy Resources in Developing Nations”, Book Chapter, Future Energy 2nd Ed, Elsevier 2014

Kruijsen J.H.J., Owen A. “The Transition to Future Energy”, Book Chapter, Future Energy 2nd Ed, Elsevier 2014

Owen A., Garniati L.“Aceh Sustainable Energy Outlook” 2012.

Owen A. “Tidal resource mapping for Guernsey territorial waters”, 2012, available from

Garniati L., Owen A., Kruijsen J.H.J., Ishadamy Y., Wibisono I. (2012). “Interface between appropriate technology and sustainable energy policy SET”; 2012 Sept 2-5; Vancouver, Canada. Sustainable Energy Technology; 2012.

Kruijsen J.H.J., Owen A., Turner N., Garniati L., 2012. “The Fourth Dimension of Sustainable Practice” [online]. Available from:

Owen A., Kruijsen J.H.J., Turner N., Wright K., 2012. “Marine Energy in the Maldives”, Scottish Government, 2011.

Owen A., Garniati L., Berry M. “RGU Carbon Management Plan”, Aberdeen, March 2010, available from:

Yahathugoda I., Owen A. “Mathematical modelling of WWC wave converter”, Aberdeen, August 2009

Maxwell P., Owen A., Scott B., Ogilvie M. “Islay community tidal energy project: Pre-feasibility study”, Bowmore October 2008.

Owen A., Raedler M. “Analysis of the fluid flow in a fish farm mort lifter”, Aberdeen, July 2008

Owen A. “Tow tank testing of a tandem hydrofoil array”Part A11 Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology. IMarEST, 2008, (Invited Paper)

Owen A. Tidal Current Energy, Origins & Challenges, Book Chapter, Future Energy: Improved, Sustainable and Clean Options for our Planet, Elsevier 2008 (Invited contribution)

Owen A., Bryden IG. “Energy Extraction Implications of Structurally Significant Velocity Variation in Tidal Currents”, Oceans07, Aberdeen, 18-21 June, 2007.

Owen A. “Tidal Current Resource Assessment”, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A, Journal of Power and Energy, 2007(Invited Paper)

Owen A., Bryden IG.“A novel graphical approach for assessing tidal stream energy flux in the Channel Isles”, Journal of Marine Science and Environment, IMarEST, 2006

Melville G., Owen A., Scott B., Ogilvie M.“Experience of Ocean Energy Systems”CA-OE. Workshop. Lisbon. 16-17 Nov. 2006. Performance monitoring of ocean energy systems

Owen A., Bryden I.G.“Prototype Support Structure for Sea Bed Mounted Tidal Current Turbines”Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers – Part M, 2006

Owen A., Bryden I.G.“Prototype Support Structure for Sea Bed Mounted Tidal Current Turbines”Proceedings of the 6th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, 2005

Owen A., Bryden I.G.“Apparatus for controlling underwater based equipment”, Patent 2004