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Computer modelling of irregular nonlinear surface waves and their effects on offshore wind turbine structures

   Department of Engineering

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  Dr S Veremieiev, Prof PH Gaskell  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This PhD scholarship is offered by the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment; a partnership between the Universities of Durham, Hull, Newcastle and Sheffield. The successful applicant will undertake a PG-Dip training year at the University of Hull and will continue their PhD research at Durham University.

For more information visit www.auracdt.hull.ac.uk. Or if you have a direct question about the project, please email [Email Address Removed] and we will forward the query to the relevant supervisor. Please do not contact the project supervisors directly.

Given the growing demand for wind energy power production via offshore wind farms, the need to develop user-friendly mathematical and numerical models for predicting the effects of the complex environmental conditions acting on wind turbine structures exposed to rough wind and sea conditions has become a necessity. While reliable numerical models are available for the aero-elastic problem, overly simplistic linear theoretical models are currently adopted for predicting wave-induced loads [1-4].

A novel mathematical model and numerical algorithm able to predict nonlinear hydrodynamic wave loads acting on offshore wind turbines exposed to severe sea states would represent a huge step forward – particularly so in relation to the interest being shown in placing wind turbines further off shore in deeper water, and especially so in the case of turbines mounted on floating platforms. The overall aim of the project is to create a user-friendly, accurate and superior predictive model for use by the offshore energy industries in providing greater understanding of the behaviour of nonlinear wave loadings in the case of offshore wind turbines. The resulting model and associated numerical algorithm will have clear benefits to the offshore industry. In addition, the results generated will have spin-offs in relation to the equally important and complementary research area of optimised wind farm layout and performance.

Entry requirements

If you have received a First-class Honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in Engineering (Mechanical, Aeronautical, Wind, Renewables), Mathematics, Physics, Computer science and related subjects, such as Oceanography we would like to hear from you. Experience of one or more of the following topics would be advantageous: fluid mechanics, mathematical modelling, numerical methods, computer programming, high-performance computing, CFD.

If your first language is not English, or you require Tier 4 student visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency level that meets the requirements of the Aura CDT’s academic partners. This course requires academic IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each skill.


Research Council funding for postgraduate research has residence requirements. Our Aura CDT scholarships are available to Home (UK) Students. To be considered a Home student, and therefore eligible for a full award, a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the scholarship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education). For full eligibility information, please refer to the EPSRC website. In addition, a number of Aura CDT Scholarships will be available to International Students across the projects offered by the partner institutions.


For more information why not watch a recording of the webinar we held on 29 November? You will be able to hear the Project Leads from each partner institutions, as well as the question and answer session that followed the presentations.

Funding Notes

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 £17,668 per annum at 2022/23 rates (subject to progress).


1. Engsig-Karup, A.P., Bingham, H.B. and Lindberg, O., 2009. An efficient flexible-order model for 3D nonlinear water waves. Journal of computational physics, 228(6), pp.2100-2118.
2. Paulsen, B.T., Bredmose, H., Bingham, H.B. and Jacobsen, N.G., 2014. Forcing of a bottom-mounted circular cylinder by steep regular water waves at finite depth. Journal of fluid mechanics, 755, pp.1-34.
3. Marino, E., Borri, C. and Peil, U., 2011. A fully nonlinear wave model to account for breaking wave impact loads on offshore wind turbines. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 99(4), pp.483-490.
4. Schløer, S., Bredmose, H. and Bingham, H.B., 2016. The influence of fully nonlinear wave forces on aero-hydro-elastic calculations of monopile wind turbines. Marine Structures, 50, pp.162-188.
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