2017 Press Releases

France honours ‘father of ocean energy’ Tony Lewis

8 Feb 2017
Professor Tony Lewis, a Principal Investigator in MaREI and Professor Emeritus at UCC, has been awarded the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques.

Professor Tony Lewis, a Principal Investigator in MaREI and Professor Emeritus at UCC, has been awarded the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques. 

Professor Lewis, who has dedicated his entire career to marine renewable energy and spearheaded the development of the MaREI Centre, was presented with the award by the French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Jean-Pierre Thébault, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the offshore renewable energy sector across Europe.

Fundamental to the development of the Lir National Ocean Test Facility, Professor Lewis, dubbed ‘the father of ocean energy, has been one of the most active members of the ocean energy community for the past four decades.

Originally a decoration founded by Emperor Napoléon to honour eminent members of the University of Paris the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques is a national order of France for distinguished academics and figures in culture and education.

Prof. led the first MaRINET programme, which helped industry speed up the development of offshore renewable energy technologies and infrastructure.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Lewis said: “I am hugely honoured to accept the award of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques from Msr. Jean-Pierre Thébault, the French Ambassador to Ireland. I have a longstanding positive relationship with many French Universities through exchange of students as well as joint European-funded research projects such as MaRINET2.”

During the first four-and-a-half year long MaRINET project, which ended last year, over 700 weeks of access was made available to 178 projects and 800 companies. Prof. Lewis will continue to be a driving force in MaRINET2, the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network, a network of 39 partners, involving research centres and organisations who work together to progress offshore renewable energy technologies such as wave, tidal and offshore-wind. 

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