Rebecca Sykes (she/her) is an ecological designer and ocean engineer who studies sustainable transition. She focuses on developing conversation and facilitating strategies to explore how this transition could emerge in relation to the systemic problems facing the oceans.
Rebecca has been adjunct to the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Chair in Emerging Technologies held by Susan Gourvenec at the University of Southampton since 2020, in addition to studying for an MA in Ecological Design Thinking. Before this she was an innovation manager in renewable energy at Lloyd's Register developing digital innovation tools for offshore wind and certification schemes for wave energy systems. She was then also vice-chair of the committee developing international certification in wave and tidal energy at the International Electrotechnical Commission.
She completed her PhD in hydrodynamics of wave energy devices at University College Cork with Tony Lewis and Gareth Thomas under a Marie Curie Research Training Network: Wavetrain.
Rebecca has developed a collaborative research project, Clean Seas Odyssey to explore and publicly communicate the issues around ocean plastic pollution and what coastal communities were doing in response. This incorporated a citizen science research project in microplastics with the University of Birmingham. She has also worked to design engineering systems to remove ocean plastic from the ocean gyres and promote circular economy in island communities.