Environmental Impacts

Turbine/Animal Strike Impact Study

Led by Marianne Porter, Ph.D.
Affiliated Home Campus: Boca Raton
Affiliated Department: Biological Sciences


This summer Brian Nkenke joined Dr. Marianne Porter’s team with their work on shark skin properties. The work done this summer utilized a software called FEBio to model shark skin properties using finite element analysis. Finite element analysis (FEA) uses the finite element method to evaluate a material or body and determine how applied stress can affect the design. FEA can help determine any points of weakness in an object or a body such as that of a shark. The goal is to study the impact that a turbine will have on sharks if a shark strike occurs. The shark skin properties that were tested are ultimate tensile strength and stiffness. These properties were analyzed for five species of sharks namely: Bonnethead, Scalloped hammerhead, Blacktip, Bull, and Shortfin mako sharks. These FEA models will provide data that will inform continued development and utility of ocean current energy harnessing installations.

Click here to watch the student presentation.

HBOI ocean fish