Dr Encarni Medina-Lopez

Senior Lecturer



+44(0)131 6505642


G.4 John Muir

Social Media: 

Engineering Discipline: 

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Theme: 

  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Offshore Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Engineering
Dr Encarni Medina-Lopez
Dr Encarni Medina-Lopez


I am a Senior Lecturer in Ocean Observation. My research focuses on the use of remote sensing to study water, energy and environmental problems. In particular, I am interested in using multi and hyperspectral satellite imagery, in situ data, and machine learning techniques to investigate processes modelling the coastal environment. I also work on the application of satellite data to reduce the cost of marine renewable energy and better understand its environmental impact. I hold a PhD in Energy Systems & Dynamics of Biogeochemical Flows. I am a Turing Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and a Chartered Engineer (CEng MICE).

My story so far

I started my studies in Ingenieria de Caminos, Canales y Puertos (MEng Civil & Environmental Engineering) at the University of Granada (Spain) in 2008, focusing on marine energy and coastal engineering. In 2013 I did an MSc in Environmental Hydraulics, specialised in aero-hydrodynamics.

I moved in 2014 to Oxford, where I worked as a Researcher in Coastal Structures at HR Wallingford. During that time, I developed my computational fluid dynamics skills, analysing the effect of storms in breakwaters and wave energy converters. In 2015 I was awarded a Talentia Fellowship to pursue a joint PhD at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with the University of Granada. 

From 2017, I worked at the University of Edinburgh as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Marine Energy, where I studied the life cycle and techno-economics of marine energy converters, as well as the numerical modelling of ocean energy arrays. Moreover, I was a Work Package leader for a €20M H2020 project from the European Commission working on numerical tools for the optimisation of tidal energy farms. In 2018, I was awarded a Chancellor's Fellowship in Data Driven Innovation focusing on satellite applications for the ocean. In 2023, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer.

Research and knowledge dissemination

I lead the Coastal and Environmental Remote Sensing Group (CEReS) at the School of Engineering. We study topics involving remote sensing (satellite data) of marine or fresh water environments. Have a look at our work in the section Further Information below. 

I am the Deputy Director for Training of the UK Space Agency and NERC Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science, SENSE. I am also a co-investigator and part of the management team of the EPSRC and NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Renewable Energy IDCORE. You can find details on the research projects I am involved at present, and the ones I have worked on in the past in the link to "Research Publications" at the top of this page.

I have participated in the podcast series Edinburgh: Space Data Capital, you can listen to my episode "Marine from Space" here. I was part of the UK Parliament POSTnote in Remote Sensing and Machine Learning

Other developments

I was the co-chair of the School of Engineering Staff Development Committee until 2022.

I was the PDRA (Postdoctoral Research Associates) Champion for the School of Engineering from August 2020 to September 2022. 

Academic Qualifications: 

  • PgCert (Postgraduate Certificate) in Academic Practice, PgCAP. University of Edinburgh, 2021 - 2022.
  • PhD Energy Systems & Dynamics of Biogeochemical Flows. University of Edinburgh and University of Granada (Spain), 2015 - 2017.
  • MSc Environmental Hydraulics. Universities of Granada, Malaga and Cordoba (Spain), 2013 - 2014.
  • MEng Civil & Environmental Engineering (Ingenieria de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, 5 year degree). University of Granada (Spain), 2008 - 2013.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

  • CEng MICE, Chartered Engineer, Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
  • FHEA, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Turing Fellow, The Alan Turing Institute.
  • MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland). Former member of the Marine Energy Forum Steering Group.
  • IMarEST (Institute for Marine Engineering, Science & Technology). Former student member.


At undergraduate level:

  • IGDP4 (Course Organiser): Interdisciplinary Group Design Project. Potable Water Supply, 20 SCQF credits.
  • PSE2: Programming Skills for Engineers, 10 SCQF credits.

At postgraduate level:

  • SENSE CDT: Python code carpentry and Google Earth Engine workshop (40 taught hours).

Research Interests: 

  • Remote sensing for environmental applications.
  • Maritime and coastal engineering.
  • Coastal oceanography
  • Marine renewable energy.
  • Hydraulics and thermodynamics.
  • Civil and environmental engineering.


  • Remote sensing.
  • Machine learning applications.
  • Coastal science.
  • Marine renewables.

Further Information: 

CEReS - Coastal and Environmental Remote Sensing Group

Current members

  • Dr Segio Lopez-Dubon, Postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow. Topic: Data-Driven Structural Testing for Tidal Energy. 2020 - present.

  • Emma McAllister, PhD student. Topic: High-resolution satellite remote sensing of the coastal morphology. 2019 - present. Co-supervised with BGS (Dr Alessandro Novellino and Dr Andres Payo-Garcia) and Cefas (Dr Tony Dolphin).

  • Solomon White, PhD student, SENSE CDT. Topic: High-resolution multispectral estimation of sea surface salinity and temperature. 2020 - present. Co-supervised with Cefas (Dr Tiago Silva).

  • Ed Holt, PhD student, SENSE CDT. Topic: Investigating the potential for catastrophic collapse of Greenland's lake-terminating glacier margins. 2021 - present. Co-supervised with School of Geosciences (Prof. Peter Nienow).

  • Penny Clarke, PhD student, SENSE CDT. Topic: Using remote sensing tools to study ocean health and whale strandings. 2021 - present. Co-supervised with British Antarctic Survey (Dr Jennifer Jackson).

  • James Harding, PhD student. Topic: Satellite remote sensing and data driven models of surface water quality parameters in Scotland. 2018 - present.

  • Anneke Sperling, PhD student, SENSE CDT. Topic: Do ocean currents stick together? 2023 - present. Co-supervised with National Oceanography Centre (Dr Alejandra Sanchez-Franks).

Past members

  • Dr Simone Zen, Postdoctoral Research Associate. Topics:

    • Assessment of the Omo river and delta using satellite data. 2019 - 2021. 

    • Supergen ORE Hub funded project Satellite Climate Observation for Offshore Renewable Energy Cost Reduction (SCORE). 2020.

  • Dr Madjid Hadjal, PhD, Data Lab industrial PhD. Topic: Automated classification of ocean colour remote sensing for environmental monitoring and legislative compliance. 2019 - 2022. Co-supervisor, student based in University of Strathclyde (main supervisor Dr David McKee) in collaboration with Marine Scotland.

  • Joe Marsh-Rossney, PhD student, guest team member (based in School of Physics and Astronomy).

  • Katie McWilliams, MEng Civil Engineering student, final year thesis. Topic: Sea Surface Salinity From Satellite Data, Machine Learning And Numerical Models. 2021 - 2022.

  • Clementine Frere, MEng Civil Engineering student, final year thesis. Topic: Feasibility Study Of Coastsnap In The Edinburgh Shores. 2020-2021.

  • Hubert Gurs, MEng Structural Engineering with Architecture student, final year thesis. Topic: Feasibility Study Of Coastsnap In The Edinburgh Shores. 2020-2021.

  • Nick Heaney, MEng Civil Engineering student, final year thesis. Topic: Coastsnap Assessment For Adaptation To Python. 2020-2021.

  • Marcin Filinger, BEng Civil Engineering student, final year thesis. Topic: Flood risk assessment in Scotland using satellite data and numerical models. 2019-2020.

  • Simone Speltoni, Visiting student, MSc thesis. Topic: Modelling the interaction between marine energy converters and the coast (Collaboration with the University of Trento, Italy). Awarded best MSc thesis. 2019.