Dr Alan Owen

Dr Alan Owen

Senior Lecturer 

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Alan is a practical, time served engineer/researcher with 30 years’ experience in renewable energy and sustainable development, from conceptual design & build to implementation and project delivery.

He holds an Associate Professorship from Heriot Watt University and prior to joining CAT he founded and held the post of Director of the Centre for Understanding Sustainability in Practice (CUSP) at Robert Gordon University from 2009-2016. CUSP employed 6 staff and delivered sustainability-related policy, teaching, and research, and consultancy expertise. In addition, CUSP developed new MSc courses (MSc Offshore Renewables, MSc Energy and Sustainability), and successfully bid for project funding of ca. £2 million.  Since 2010 he has worked on sustainable food/energy/water nexus projects in UK, South East Asia and West Africa, interfacing with the full social range from indigenous fishing and farming communities in West Papua to Government Ministers in Scotland.


Heriot Watt University, Associate Professor, International Centre for Island Technology, 2017
Robert Gordon University, PhD, 2007,
Robert Gordon University PGCert (Dist) Research Methods, 2004
Robert Gordon University, BEng (Hons, 1st class) Mechanical Engineering, 2002

Professional Qualifications

Energy Institute, Chartered Engineer
Energy Institute, Chartered Energy Engineer


Renewable energy systems (wind, marine, solar, hydro, etc)  environmental impact & risk, marine engineering, sustainable energy resources, CO2 emissions, new PhD student induction, PhD supervision, MSc and Undergraduate project supervision, engineering design and fabrication.

Research/consultancy interests

Alan’s research ranges from numerical modelling of sustainable energy systems and resources in Europe , to developing international sustainable energy policy and strategy in post conflict/post disaster areas of South East Asia, and designing sustainable energy systems for rice production and food processing in Togo. Alan has developed collaborative partnerships with Scottish Universities and businesses, Indonesian Universities (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Universitas Nasional, Universitas Islam Negeri, and Syiah Kuala University), many different NGO’s, and has hosted a number of Indonesian VIP visits to the UK including Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, and Aceh Provincial Government.

He has provided expert opinion in patent actions to new marine energy companies, and energy-saving consultancy to BBC2 programmes.

In 2016, he has delivered marine energy training to Japanese Masters students in Aberdeen and to Indonesian Government policy/strategic planners in Jakarta as well as consultancy to the World Resources Institute and other international NGO’s.

Selected recent publications

Iswadi A, Owen A, Garniati L, Sugardjito J,“ Marine renewable energy: opportunities and challenges for community development in coastal area of Indonesia” , Int. J. of Services Technology and Management, In Press, 2017

Owen A., Garniati L., 2016. “Ocean Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia: Landscape, Opportunities, and Challenges”. Research Publishing. Singapore: 2016.

Owen A. Garniati L. “The politics of investing in renewable energy systems”, Book Chapter, Storing Energy, Elsevier 2016

Owen A. Garniati L. “Marine Energy Roadmap Recommendations for Indonesia” Report for UKFCO and Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, 2016

Garniati L., Praptiwi R., Sugardjito, J., Sari, N.H., Ahmudiarto, Y., Owen, A., “Towards decentralised sustainable energy systems for wider Indonesia”. Asialics Anual Conference September 15-17, 2015.

Garniati L., Praptiwi R., Sugardjito, J., Sari, N.H., Ahmudiarto, Y., Owen, A., “Interface between food security, energy sustainability and water accessibility”. International Conference of Appropriate Technology October 3-5, 2015.

Owen A, Garniati L., Marine Energy Identification Report – International Lessons Learnt for Indonesia. Jakarta: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), 2015

Owen A, Garniati L., Indonesian Marine Energy – Network Ignition. Jakarta: British Council, 2015

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
Garniati, L., Owen, A., Kruijsen, J.H.J., Ishadamy, Y. and Wibisono, I., Interface between Appropriate Technology and Sustainable Energy Policy in Vulnerable Societies. International Journal of Sustainable Cities and Societies. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2013.10.003 , 2013

Owen A., Consultant contribution to “The Great Big Energy Saving Challenge” BBC TV Oct. 2013 available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01fjkf9

Owen A, Garniati L, “Aceh Sustainable Energy Outlook” 2012, available from http://www.rgu.ac.uk/about/sustainability/centre-for-understanding-sustainable-practice/projects-and-research/international-projects

Owen A, “Tidal resource mapping for Guernsey territorial waters”, 2012 available from http://www.rgu.ac.uk/about/sustainability/centre-for-understanding-sustainable-practice/projects-and-research/uk-projects

Garniati L, Owen A, Kruijsen JHJ, Ishadamy Y, Wibisono I. (2012). “Interface between appropriate technology and sustainable energy policy SET”; 2012 Sept 2-5; Vancouver, Canada. Sustainable Energy Technology; 2012. http://www.setconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/SET_Conference_2012_AbstracBook.pdf.

Kruijsen J.H.J., Owen A., Turner N. and Garniati L., 2012. “The Fourth Dimension of Sustainable Practice” [online]. Available from: http://cesun2012.tudelft.nl/images/d/d0/Kruijsen.pdf

Owen A, Kruijsen J.H.J, Turner N, Wright K. “Marine Energy in the Maldives”, Scottish Government, 2011. Available from http://www4.rgu.ac.uk/cusp/general/page.cfm?pge=83048

Owen A, Garniati N, Berry M, “RGU Carbon Management Plan”, Aberdeen, March 2010, available from: http://www4.rgu.ac.uk/cusp/general/page.cfm?pge=83048
Maxwell P, Owen A, Scott B, Ogilvie M, “Islay community tidal energy project: Pre-feasibility study”, Bowmore October 2008. Available from http://islayenergytrust.org.uk/2008/04/

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

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

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. “Experience of Ocean Energy Systems” CA-OE. Workshop. Lisbon. 16-17 Nov. 2006. Performance monitoring of ocean energy systems

Owen A, Bryden IG. “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 IG. “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

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