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Researcher at Risk: Dr Meltsov brings sustainability expertise to Hull as he leaves his home in Ukraine

Dr Gennadii Meltsov, an engineer, designer and inventor, is a Research Fellow at the University of Hull as part of the British Academy’s Researchers at Risk programme.

He was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine and his work has focused on more than 100 cutting-edge sustainability projects in ports around the world from the Black Sea, to the Baltic Sea, the Far East, Cuba, Vietnam and Angola.

Dr Meltsov earned a PhD, in engineering from the Odesa Institute of Marine Engineers (Odesa National Maritime University since 1994) and has worked closely with researchers at the University of Hull in developing marine-based green energy solutions.

Dr Meltsov shares his journey to the University of Hull and how he intends to use the opportunity as a Researcher at Risk to tackle some of the world’s most serious climate change problems.

Dr Meltsov (centre) meeting with the British Academy in October 2022
Dr Meltsov (centre) meeting with the British Academy in October 2022

First links with Hull

I first got acquainted with the University of Hull in 2013, when I met Professor Dan Parsons (former Director of the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute), Dr Stuart McLelland (Deputy Director of the Institute), Gavin Cutler and Professor Alan Lowdon (Durham Energy Institute Advisory Board Chair and Professor in Practice), and I am very grateful for the present grant application. I received a UK patent in 2013 for an invention co-authored by David West, the owner of Greenstick Energy Ltd, situated at Carnaby, near Bridlington in East Yorkshire. We produced one of the turbines’ structures, a Greenstick Cassette Carrier for the University of Hull.

My research

My research activities in particular are devoted to understanding how to use dredging soils to form artificial territories with minimal harm to nature. Waves and currents carry dumped soils for many kilometres, absorbing oxygen from the water and destroying marine ecology. The patented structures are also able to reduce the wave erosion of the seashore and the destruction of the river coastline caused by flooding. My scientific work includes theoretical research, computer simulations, and laboratory and field experiments.

Challenges as a researcher

There are several major challenges that I tackle as a researcher. For example, understanding the way water-submerged materials accumulate hidden damage and how this changes the amount of weight the materials can safely hold. This has implications for wind turbines as the materials that are in water change at a different rate to that above the water.

My research is devoted to the development of patented technology and structures for use worldwide to resist climate change with minimal harm to nature and maximum economical effect.

Modeling the influence of thin-walled composite structures on the hydro and geomorphological processes of the coast requires knowledge of hydrodynamics, hydro and geomorphology, soil mechanics, and structural mechanics to clarify the boundary conditions of the calculation models.

Helping students

I think young people looking to enter into engineering should develop a keen interest in the subject, read and work as much as possible, ideally in product or participating in venture projects. Another good practice is to apply for grants and stick to experts who are doing things that you are passionate about. Believe me, there is no greater happiness for a teacher than to help inquisitive and hardworking students.

Home life and hobbies

When I am not researching, I am happiest spending time with my family. I live in Hull with my wife and have two married children and two grandchildren. I also enjoy physical activities such as cycling, jogging, swimming and yoga.

I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful teachers during my career, to whom I feel a sense of gratitude. Professor Oleksandr Shkola is a career scientist and teacher and is the General Director of the International Association of Hydrotechnical Engineers of Water Transport. Professor Michail Poizner is the lead expert research engineer of port and offshore construction in Ukraine and Ivan Baranov – an engineer, designer and inventor who embodied his unique and bold inventions.

My favourite place in the city of Hull is the embankment as it reminds me of the sea in Odesa. It turns out Hull has my favourite bird, seagulls – exactly the same as in Odesa.

Looking to the future

Going forward I will be developing my green inventions and seeking grants for the University of Hull. On 11 January 2023, I presented at the Energy and Environment Institute Colloquium – ten research projects for joint EU grant applications with Ukrainian institutions.

All are welcome to visit my colloquium on 2 March at the University of Hull (LARKIN-LTF from 1-2pm), titled: Numerical modeling of the influence of thin underwater walls on the geomorphological processes of the coastal zone of the sea.


Find out more about Dr Meltsov’s work at the Green Stick website or email Dr Meltsov at

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