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A (Flo)Wave of thanks

In August the Principal hosted an event for legacy pledgers in a one of a kind venue to celebrate a longstanding commitment to the University.

FloWave and Carlyle Circle

Located on the western edge of the King’s Buildings campus, the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility represents the epicentre of the University’s marine energy research. The building houses the most sophisticated test tank facility in the world - a 25m (82ft) diameter circular test tank.

This breath-taking construction is 5m (16ft) deep and can simulate scale version equivalents of waves up to 28m (92ft) high using 2.4 million litres (530,000 gallons) of fresh water. It was designed to test physical scale models of marine energy devices as well as floating offshore wind platforms and vessels. The FloWave was officially opened in 2014.

Legacy of Thomas Carlyle

FloWave and Carlyle Circle event

Although normally used for research purposes and commercial testing, on 26 August the facility opened its doors to the Carlyle Circle summer event. Those in attendance represented only a small fraction of the present 1,362 members of the Carlyle Circle, named after Thomas Carlyle, an alumnus and Rector of the University of Edinburgh, who was one of the first to remember the University in his Will.

The Principal opened the event with a word of thanks to all those who have pledged a legacy gift to the University. He emphasised how significant the legacies are in Edinburgh’s longstanding success and its commitment to excellence.

Chief Executive Officer Stuart Brown, who leads the FloWave team, welcomed everyone to the facility and talked about the scale of projects and the work that FloWave does to support the development of tidal, wave and floating offshore wind industries.

Frances and I thoroughly enjoyed the event at the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility. It was interesting to learn of the scale of the testing required by water based structures and enormously encouraging that the University of Edinburgh is playing such a major role in these international projects.

Mr Alan Bell and Mrs Frances Bell
FloWave and Carlyle Circle guests
Mr Alan Bell and Mrs Frances Bell.

FloWave in action

The members had an opportunity to see the water tank in practice as well as ask the FloWave team of experts any questions they had about their work and the research facility.

The know-how skills of the FloWave staff as well as the uniqueness of the venue were positively received and the astonishing authenticity of the demonstration left many members captivated.

We had a very interesting conversation with one of the research students which is a privilege when so much of this technology is widely reported but not really explained by people who understand the underlying science.

Mr Peter McDonald and Mrs Diane McDonald

The demonstration was fascinating. I had heard about the Salter’s Duck back in the 1970s, but that the simulation of being out at sea was so realistic, was a surprise.

Emeritus Professor Kath Melia

Many stories, one shared interest

Everyone who makes a personal pledge, such as a legacy gift, is welcomed to join the Carlyle Circle, and is invited to receptions, lectures and special events such as the summer event in FloWave. Behind every legacy to the University lie individual stories and reasons. However, they are all connected by a profound interest in the future success and valuable work of the University.

By leaving a legacy to the University we know that a number of prospective students will be able to live their dream of becoming a vet and, having trained at the Dick Vet School, to continue the tradition of providing outstanding veterinary care for future generations of animals.

Mr Alan Bell and Mrs Frances Bell

As to my reasons for supporting the University, not only do I owe my career to my degree but I also have fond memories of my time at the University and of the staff and students I encountered there.

Mr Peter McDonald

When the first Professor of Nursing Studies at the University died, I was the fourth incumbent of the chair and represented the University at her funeral at Norwich Cathedral. In conversation, her family told me that she had included the University of Edinburgh in her Will and it made me think.

Emeritus Professor Kath Melia

Further information

If you are considering leaving a gift to the University in your Will after taking care of loved ones, or have any questions at all, please contact Morag Murison.

Morag Murison

Philanthropy Manager, Legacies

  • Development and Alumni

Contact details

Related links

Carlyle Circle

Thomas Carlyle

FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility

Salter’s Duck