Dr Encarni Medina-Lopez

Chancellor's Fellow



+44(0)131 6505642


3.12 Alexander Graham Bell building

Social Media: 

Engineering Discipline: 

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Institute: 

  • Infrastructure and Environment

Research Theme: 

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


I am a Chancellor's Fellow (Lecturer) in Data Driven Innovation, Space and Satellite. My research focuses on the use of remote sensing to tackle the water-energy-environment trilemma. At present, I am using multi and hyperspectral satellite imagery, in situ data, and machine learning techniques to investigate processes modelling the coastal environment. I am also interested in studying the interaction of marine energy converters and the coast, as well as the relationship between these, social and environmental factors, and the built environment. I hold a PhD in Energy Systems & Dynamics of Biogeochemical Flows.

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. My PhD thesis studied the effect of humidity in wave energy performance from analytical and numerical perspectives.

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 September 2018, I was awarded a Chancellor's Fellowship in Data Driven Innovation focusing on satellite applications for the ocean. In 2021 I also became a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute.

Research and knowledge dissemination

I lead the Coastal and Environmental Remote Sensing Group (CEReS) at the School of Engineering. We study a wide range of topics, all involving remote sensing and the environment. Have a look at our work in the section Further Information below. 

I have been Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator in different projects over the past years, like the EPSRC Supergen ORE Hub funded project SCORE: Satellite Climate Observation for Offshore Renewable Energy Cost Reduction, or the Train @ Ed Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND project Data-driven structural testing for tidal energy. I am also a Co-I and part of the management team of the EPSRC and NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Renewable Energy IDCORE, and I am part of the management team of the NERC Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science, SENSE.

I recently participated in the podcast series Edinburgh: Space Data Capital, you can listen to my episode "Marine from Space" here. I also was part of the UK Parliament POSTnote in Remote Sensing and Machine Learning. I am a honorary member of the Topic Editorial Board for the journal Remote Sensing.

Other developments

I am the PDRA (Postdoctoral Research Associates) Champion for the School of Engineering since August 2020, and I chair the School Staff Development Committee. 

Academic Qualifications: 

  • 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). University of Granada (Spain), 2008 - 2013.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

  • MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland). Past member of the Marine Energy Forum Steering Group.
  • IMarEST (Institute for Marine Engineering, Science & Technology). Student member.


At undergraduate level:

  • IGDP4: 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.

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

  • Madjid Hadjal, PhD student, Data Lab industrial PhD. Topic: Automated classification of ocean colour remote sensing for environmental monitoring and legislative compliance. 2019 - present. 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).

  • Ed Holt, PhD student, SENSE CDT. Topic: Investigating the potential for catastrophic collapse of Greenland's land-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).

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

  • Nancy Shao, BEng Civil Engineering student, final year thesis. Topic: Machine learning for coastal colour exploration. 2021 - 2022.

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.

  • 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.