Dr Richard Pemberton

Dr Richard Pemberton

Lecturer in Mechanical and Marine Engineering Design

School of Engineering (Faculty of Science & Engineering)


After completing his Ph.D. on System Identification in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in 2003, Richard joined GBR Challenge America’s Cup yacht racing team as a design analyst. Since then he was worked as a designer or technical consultant to sailors and yacht racing teams in many of the major competitions within the sport, such as: The America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Vendee Globe race,Olympics and the World Speed Sailing Record.

Before joining Plymouth University, Richard worked as a consultant Naval Architect both in a self-employed capacity and at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics. In these roles Richard achieved Chartered Engineer status with RINA, and gained a wide range of experience in the following areas:

Project List:

  •  Sailing and Motor Yacht Design and Performance Prediction including hull form optimisation using CFD.
  • Model and full scale experimental tests on sailing yachts, motor boats and hovercraft.
  • Yacht structural analysis for inclusion as appendix in Marine Accident Investigation Branch report.
  • Winning TSB grant funding for collaborative research project with two industrial partners (High Efficiency Work Vessel: a 10m containerised catamaran work boat utilising high power diesel outboards).
  • Electronics: Development of control and logging software for underwater towed array.
  • Assisting aircraft operators in achieving EASA certification for modifications to existing aircraft.
  • General Hydrodynamic Performance Prediction.
  • Vessel Stability.

Professional membership


Research interests

CFD, System Identification Techniques, Marine Design, ExperimentalMethods & Techniques and Composite Manufacture for the marine applications.