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Blake works within NREL's water research program as a technology innovation, modeling, and assessment engineer. His research centers upon the development of methods and concepts to convert ocean energy into more usable forms such as electricity and desalinated water. Spanning nearly a decade, Blake's experience in marine renewable energy originates from time spent in both industry and academe. Prior to NREL, Blake served as a modeling and controls engineer for a startup company where he helped lead the development of numerical modeling tools for ocean wave energy converters. Additionally, Blake held a postdoctoral research position at Virginia Tech where he conducted high-fidelity fluid-structure interaction analysis for complex and atypical types of ocean energy converters.

Research Interests

Flexible materials and compliant mechanisms for distributed power take-offs

Technology innovation, codesign, and corresponding numerical methods

Prototype development, instrumentation, and evaluation

Robotics for marine energy; dynamics, controls, embedded systems, machine learning


Ph.D., Robotics, Oregon State University
Dissertation: Vertical Axis Pendulum Wave Energy Converters: Investigating Control Strategies and the Deployment of a Scaled Generic Prototype

M.S., Oregon State University
Thesis: On the Modeling and Control of Horizontal Pendulum Wave Energy Converters

B.S., Oregon State University

Featured Work

Design, Development, and Testing of a Scaled Vertical Axis Pendulum Wave Energy Converter, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy (2017)

Active Control of a Vertical Axis Pendulum Wave Energy Converter, American Control Conference (2014)

Using Artificial Neural Networks for Prompt and Accurate Wave Prediction at Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center’s North Energy Test Site; A Feasibility Analysis, Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (2014)