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FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

We’re looking for the world’s brightest minds to join us in developing cutting edge research and solutions to the environmental and engineering challenges facing the offshore wind industry.

The EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment invites high-quality applications for 4-year taught and research PhD scholarships. 12 fully funded positions are available starting 16th September 2019.

The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, providing over 10% of the UK’s electricity and growing at an unprecedented rate. The new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal predicts that by 2030, the industry will provide a third of British electricity and triple its workforce. The Sector Deal will see industry invest £250 million, including a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, driving global exports which are set to increase fivefold to £2.6 billion by 2030.

The Aura CDT is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull with partner universities Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield. It integrates the core strengths of each institution in environment, engineering and energy and will also work closely with over 20 international industry partners. Students will have both an academic supervisor and an industry link, giving access to world-leading research and development facilities in both environments.

Your research could make a real impact to the exciting challenges in the offshore wind industry. We are seeking high quality, innovative people whose backgrounds, experience and identity broadens and enhances the diversity of our existing team. You will initially study in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary, and the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. In subsequent years, candidates may be based at one of the partner universities of Hull, Durham, Newcastle or Sheffield and get real sector experience with the industry partners mapped to your chosen area of research. The broad research areas identified are:

  • Big marine data and metocean
    Biological activity; marine & offshore wind personnel traffic; metocean forecasting; seafloor mapping; smart seabed sensor networks.
  • Environmental interactions, seabed dynamics and benthic habitat
    Acoustic impact on marine life; cable risks; extreme events; monopile decommissioning; natural hazards; seafloor structure.
  • Logistics, safety, risk and human factors
    Workload analysis in operations & maintenance and construction; remote safety training for technicians; control and mitigation of fatigue under shift systems; comparison of logistics for fixed vs floating OSW.
  • Low carbon transitions and community benefits
    Offshore wind and smart grid development; societal impact of offshore wind; economics of offshore wind developments; aquaculture in windfarm zones.
  • Next generation materials and manufacturing
    Assistive assembly and manufacture; blade design and manufacture; bulk additive component production; reconfigurable manufacturing; self-healing surface coatings.
  • Operations and remote autonomous monitoring
    Blade structural health; floating turbines control; hydrophone systems for marine mammals; internal turbine inspection; position monitoring with GNSS.
Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

Entry Requirements

If you have received either, a first class honours degree, or a 2:1 honours degreeand a Masters (or the international equivalents) in any of the following, or associated subjects, we would like to hear from you. For overseas students we also require an IELTS score of 7.0 with no element below 6.0.

Biology Chemistry Computer Science
Earth Science Engineering Geography
Mathematics Physics Psychology

The partners are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; applications are welcome from students from diverse backgrounds (part-time study available).


The Aura CDT is funded by the EPSRC and NERC, allowing us to provide scholarships that cover fees plus a stipend set at the UKRI nationally agreed rates, circa £15,000 per annum for full-time students (subject to progress).

The scholarships are available for EU and UK nationals who satisfy the residency rules of the EPSRC. Applications are welcome from exceptional self-funded candidates from overseas.


Priority will be given to applications submitted in the first recruitment round, closing 29 April 2019.

Interviews will be held in the w/c 13 May 2019.


For more information about the Aura CDT, research projects, eligibility and how to apply, please visit or call +44(0)1482 463331.

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