Brenden Epps is a fourth-year mechanical engineering graduate student at MIT. He researches the design of "marine current turbines", which generate power from ocean currents and tides.These devices are analogous to wind turbines, which generate power from wind. Fundamental design issues exist, such as the optimal turbine blade shape, and Brenden is addressing this by studying the humpback whale.
Humpback whale flippers have tubercles (bumps) on their leading edges, and researchers believe that these scallops help the water flow around the flippers. Can we apply a tubercled design to marine current turbines? We will see... In his free time, Brenden enjoys outdoor activities (hiking, rock climbing, skiing, scuba diving), MIT intramural sports (soccer, football, softball), photography, cooking, and puzzles.