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  Aeroelastic Fatigue Load Analysis of Large Offshore Wind Turbine Blades with Leading Edge Erosion( Ref: CW_2023_18_WSCH_2)

   Research Centre

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  Dr Pedram Khaneh Masjedi , Dr Edmond Tobin, Dr Sinéad O'Halloran, Assoc Prof Philip Cardiff  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project Key Words:  Aeroelasticity, Fluid Structure Interaction, Wind Turbine Blades

Post summary

The harsh marine environment, and the recent trend in employing larger wind turbines, make offshore wind turbines prone to structural damage, particularly blade leading-edge erosion under the impact of rain, hail, and small air-borne debris. Leading-edge erosion can significantly change the blade's unsteady aerodynamic characteristics and aeroelastic fatigue loads. This PhD project offers an exciting opportunity to address these challenges by developing a cutting-edge numerical framework. The aim is to investigate the aeroelastic fatigue loads experienced by large offshore wind turbine blades with leading-edge erosion. To achieve this, this project will develop a novel coupled aero-hydro-elastic simulation tool, integrating the advanced capabilities of the OpenFOAM toolbox and OpenFAST software. By employing this state-of-the-art simulation approach, the PhD researcher will have the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge in the complex interaction between aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and structural dynamics in offshore wind turbines.

This PhD project is a 4-year full time PhD funded by the SETU PhD Scholarship Programme. The project will be based in the Faculty of Engineering, Kilkenny Road Campus, Carlow. Successful PhD candidate will work under the supervision of a team of accomplished researchers, gaining valuable expertise in aeroelasticity, computational fluid dynamics and wind energy engineering.

Person specification

We are seeking a strong, self-motivated, and enthusiastic candidate with a background in aerospace and mechanical engineering or a closely related field and prior experience in computational modelling of Fluid-Structure-Interaction (FSI) problems and aeroelasticity, particularly with OpenFOAM or OpenFAST. A solid understanding of computational methods in fluid and structural dynamics and proficiency in programming and manipulating these methods using languages such as Python, Julia, MATLAB, Fortran, or C/C++ are highly desirable. Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research and contribute to scientific knowledge in relevant fields and a track record of publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals would be advantageous. In addition, the ideal candidates should possess exceptional interpersonal skills, demonstrating a strong ability to collaborate effectively within a multidisciplinary research team.



·       Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or closely related fields.


·       Research Masters Degree (MSc or MEng, minimum 2:1) in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or closely related fields.

Knowledge & Experience


·       Good knowledge in fluid dynamics and vibration fundamentals.

·       Knowledge and experience in programming languages commonly used in engineering computing (e.g., Python, Julia, MATLAB, Fortran, or C/C++)


 ·       In-depth knowledge of computational methods in fluid dynamics (CFD), structural mechanics, aeroelasticity and/or fluid-structure-interaction (FSI) problems

·       Prior experience in utilizing OpenFOAM toolbox and OpenFAST for aeroelastic simulations is highly desirable

·       A track record of publishing in peer-reviewed journals

 Skills & Competencies


·       Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate on application that they meet SETU’s English language requirements and provide all necessary documentation. See Page 7 of the Code of Practice

·       In order to be shortlisted for interview, you must meet the SETU English speaking requirements so please provide evidence in your application.  

·       Excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to think critically to propose innovative solutions.


 ·       Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills

·       The ability to communicate research concepts and outcomes clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Supervisor(s):Dr Pedram Khaneh Masjedi (SETU, Carlow),Dr Edmond Tobin (SETU, Carlow),Dr Sinéad O’Halloran (SETU, Waterford),Dr Philip Cardiff (UCD)
Research Group:EngCORE
Convergent Technologies Research Group (CTRG)
Department /School/Faculty:Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Duration 4 Years (48 Months )
Status: Full-time
Funding information:SETU PhD Scholarship Programme 2023
Value of the scholarship per year for four years
Stipend: €18,500
Fees, up to a maximum of €5,750
Research costs- €2,000


Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Dr Pedram Khaneh Masjedi on email
For queries relating to the application and admission process, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.
For queries relating to the funding programme, please email
University Website
Application procedure
Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from here ( and return the completed application to quoting advert reference code from the above table in the email subject line.
Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.