Bryony DuPont is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and has been at Oregon State since 2013. Her research is in design automation, which is the application of computational algorithms and simulation to help engineering designers make more informed decisions earlier in the design of products and systems. Her work has applications in green design, specifically the design of renewable energy systems and environmentally sustainable products.
Her research in renewable energy systems focuses on offshore wind energy and wave energy converter design. Since 2008, Dr. DuPont and her research team have created new computational models that better represent the physical phenomena, economical impacts, and social elements of wind energy systems. They have also created new multi-objective approaches to improving the layout and systems design of wind farms, to accommodate modern concerns, like increasing turbine energy efficiency, improving system reliability, and accommodating the aerodynamic challenges due to weather and seasonality in a changing climate.
Since joining Oregon State, Dr. DuPont and her team have explored the design of wave energy converters, a promising and novel energy source in coastal regions. Considering the energy density of ocean waves and the proximity of population centers and power demand close to ocean coasts, wave energy converters must be designed to deliver consistent power in a challenging environment. Interest in wave energy spans from remote coastal communities that wish to divest from diesel generators, to powering offshore interests like desalination and aquaculture, to military bases, to federal interest in incorporating these systems into larger power grids. As wave energy technology advances, is is imperative to explore the design parameters that make these generators suitable in different locations and for different applications. Dr. DuPont’s team is on the forefront of the computational design and analysis of wave energy converters and the larger systems in which they develop clean, renewable electricity.
Dr. DuPont and her students also research the use of computation to advance design theories of environmentally sustainable products. Specifically, they’ve explored how the environmental impact of consumer goods is related to product function, thus using function as a predictor of eventual environmental damage. This work has led to collaborations that relate the physical parameters of a product, such as a CAD model, to downstream environmental impact, using a large repository of life cycle assessment data curated at Oregon State since 2014.
Dr. DuPont has successfully received research funding from the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, multiple national laboratories and industrial partners. She holds a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She teaches in engineering design, wind energy systems design, sustainable product design, and design for manufacturing. She is also an avid baker and skier, and a classically-trained vocalist.