Annual Garrad Hassan Lecture 2019 - Are Kites the Future of Wind Energy?

11 March 2019, 5.15 PM - 11 March 2019, 6.30 PM

Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queen's Building, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TR

David Stewart, Engineering Manager at Kite Power Systems Ltd.

Kite Power Systems Ltd (KPS) is developing an innovative renewable energy technology that will bring low cost energy to areas of the world that are currently reliant on expensive, polluting energy sources.

The talk will explain what airborne wind energy is and why it is worth pursuing. The talk will describe how KPS has tackled the problem and show the evolution from basic R&D to its planned multi-MW floating offshore product. This talk will cover some of KPS’ key technologies which will include:

  • Flying devices that will be amongst the largest devices ever to take to the sky but need to be built to last without the high cost of traditional aerospace products.

  • A ground-based generation system that will be able to accept a fluctuating input and convert it into a stable output that will be supplied to the local power grid.

The talk will address some of the larger risk items, such as regulation, life of the systems, and how the products will be installed, maintained, and decommissioned.


David graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MEng in Aeronautical Engineering and then joined QinetiQ where he spent 5 years working on transonic and low speed aerodynamics. During 6 years at Hybrid Air Vehicles David led all aerodynamic design, developed the Airlander simulator, and led the ground and flight test campaigns of the world’s largest aircraft. David joined KPS as its Engineering Manager in 2017 and he is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Booking information

The lecture will run from 5.15 - 6.00pm followed by informal networking and drinks in the Pugsley Lecture Theatre Foyer. The event is free and open to staff, students, and members of the public, but please register via Eventbrite to attend

Please contact with any queries about the event.

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