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Photo of Dr Ajit C Pillai

Dr Ajit C Pillai

Senior Lecturer in Autonomous Systems and Robotics

 01326 253783


Ajit’s research is focused on the development and deployment of optimization algorithms to aid in the design of offshore renewable energy devices and arrays.

From 2021 he is a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow developing new techniques to integrate numerical physics-based models with targeted, dynamic measurement campaigns using autonomous vessels to reduce offshore uncertainty and develop a new framework for spatial data.

While at the University of Exeter he has worked on several projects applying optimization and machine learning techniques including:

Prior to joining the University of Exeter, Ajit obtained an EngD in offshore renewable energy through the Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE); a partnership between the Universities of Edinburgh, Exeter, and Strathclyde with the Scottish Association for Marine Science, HR-Wallingford, the ETI, and the EPSRC. His EngD research, completed in partnership with EDF Energy R&D UK Centre, led to the development of a methodology and tool for the optimization of offshore wind farm layouts considering the sites and constraints relevant for future gigawatt scale wind farms in European waters. 

Ajit also holds an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems from The University of Edinburgh and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. 

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |



  • Gao Y, Zhao C, Johanning L, Pillai A. (2023) AERO-HYDRODYNAMIC STUDIES OF A 15 MW SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE FOWT TO ASSESS THE SUITABILITY OF THE INCLUSION OF A DAMPER SYSTEM, 5th International Offshore Wind Technical Conference, Exeter, United Kingdom, 18th - 19th Dec 2023.
  • Vlachogiannis P, Peyrard C, Pillai A, Collu M, Ingram D. (2023) A COMPARISON OF THE INFLUENCE OF USING EMPIRICAL OR MATHEMATICALLY PRE-DEFINED WAVE ENERGY SPECTRA FOR TOWER BASE BENDING FATIGUE CALCULATIONS, 5th International Offshore Wind Technical Conference, Exeter, United Kingdom, 18th - 19th Dec 2023.
  • Newman P, Ashton I, Thies P, Johanning L, Berrabah N, Pillai A. (2023) APPLICATION OF UNCREWED SURFACE VESSELS THROUGHOUT THE LIFE SPAN OF FIXED AND FLOATING OFFSHORE WIND FARMS, 5th International Offshore Wind Technical Conference, Exeter, United Kingdom, 18th - 19th Dec 2023.
  • Dingle H, Gordelier T, Pillai AC. (2023) The influence of ground conditions on the performance of shared anchor systems for floating offshore wind, 9th International Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Conference - Innovative Geotechnologies for Energy Transition, London, Uk, 12th - 14th Sep 2023.
  • Smith K, Davey T, Forehand D, Pillai AC, Tao L, Xiao Q. (2023) Dynamic response of floating offshore renewable energy devices: Sensitivity to mooring rope stiffness, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Bilbao, Spain, 3rd - 7th Sep 2023.
  • Gao Y, Zhao C, Johanning L, Pillai AC. (2023) Hydrodynamic studies of a 15 MW semi-submersible FOWT to assess the suitability of the inclusion of a damper system, 15th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Bilbao, 3rd - 7th Sep 2023.
  • Kassotakis N, Sarhosis V, Pillai AC, Johanning L. (2023) Three-Dimensional Discrete Element Modelling of Rubble Masonry Structures from Geospatial Data, 9th ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on Computational Methods in Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 12th - 14th Jul 2023.
  • Ashton I, Chen J, Steele E, Pillai A. (2023) Surrogate wave modelling to improve operational wave data for offshore wind farms, DOI:10.5194/egusphere-egu23-15848. [PDF]
  • Pillai A, Ashton I, Chen J, Steele E. (2023) Comparison of NWP Models Used in Training Surrogate Wave Models, DOI:10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12355. [PDF]
  • Kell N, Santibanez-Borda E, Mortsyn T, Lazakis I, Pillai AC. (2023) Methodology to Prepare for UK’s Offshore Wind Contract for Difference Auctions, Applied Energy, DOI:10.1016/j.apenergy.2023.120844.
  • Sigalo MB, Das S, Pillai AC, Abusara M. (2023) Real-Time Economic Dispatch of CHP Systems with Battery Energy Storage for Behind-the-Meter Applications, Energies, volume 16, no. 3, pages 1274-1274, DOI:10.3390/en16031274. [PDF]
  • Kell NP, van der Veijde AH, Li L, Santibanez-Borda E, Pillai AC. (2023) Simulating Offshore Wind Contract for Difference Auctions to Prepare Bid Strategies, Applied Energy, volume 334, DOI:10.1016/j.apenergy.2023.120645.
  • Chen J, Ashton IGC, Steele ECC, Pillai AC. (2023) A Real-Time Spatiotemporal Machine Learning Framework for the Prediction of Nearshore Wave Conditions, Artificial Intelligence for the Earth Systems, volume 2, no. 1, DOI:10.1175/aies-d-22-0033.1.





  • Pillai AC, Thies PR, Johanning L. (2018) Mooring System Design Optimization Using a Surrogate Assisted Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm, Engineering Optimization, DOI:10.1080/0305215X.2018.1519559.
  • Pillai AC, Thies PR, Johanning L. (2018) Comparing Frequency and Time-Domain Simulations for Geometry Optimization of a Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Mooring System, ASME 2018 International Offshore Wind Technical Conference, San Francisco, Usa, 4th - 7th Nov 2018.
  • Giovanni R, Pillai AC, Thies P, Johanning L. (2018) Verification and Benchmarking Methodology for O&M Planning and Optimization Tools in the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector, 37th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Madrid, 17th - 22nd Jun 2018, OMAE 2018, no. OMAE2018-77176.
  • Pillai AC, Thies PR, Johanning L. (2018) Optimization of Mooring Line Axial Stiffness Characteristics for Offshore Renewable Energy Applications, The Twenty-eighth (2018) International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference, Sapporo, Japan, 10th - 15th Jun 2018.
  • Pillai AC, Chick J, Khorasanchi M, Johanning L. (2018) Offshore Wind Farm Layout Optimization Using Particle Swarm Optimization, Journal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy, volume 4, no. 1, pages 73-88, DOI:10.1007/s40722-018-0108-z.




  • Pillai AC, Chick J, Johanning L, Khorasanchi M, Pelissier S. (2015) Optimisation of offshore wind farms using a genetic algorithm, Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, volume 2015-January, pages 644-652.
  • Pillai AC, Chick J, Johanning L, Khorasanchi M, De Laleu V. (2015) Offshore wind farm electrical cable layout optimization, Engineering Optimization, volume 47, no. 12, pages 1689-1708, DOI:10.1080/0305215X.2014.992892.


  • Pillai AC, Chick J, de Laleu V. (2014) Modelling Wind Turbine Wakes at Middelgrunden Wind Farm, European Wind Energy Conference & Exhibition 2014, Barcelona, Spain, 10th - 13th Mar 2014.

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