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Economic and Environmental Impact analysis of wind turbine based on alternative materials

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Wai Cheung
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Research Centre
Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Principal Supervisor
Dr Wai Ming Cheung

Project Description
Cleaner environmental technologies offer various benefits such as reduced emissions, less waste and cost savings from minimum energy and resource requirements during production and operation. Wind turbines that operate in a wind farm are such technologies which are capable of achieving these advantages. As a result the installation of wind farms across the world has increased to 30% in the past decade. However, benefits such as less waste and cost savings can only be achieved with optimum design and development solutions. Although the design stage constitutes only 5% of the total product cost, its influence in design and development stages could contribute up to 75-90% of the total lifecycle cost [1]. By nature, product development is a complex and influential activity, where decision makings at the design and specification stages of product development are responsible for up to 80% of all environmental and financial impacts [1].

The objectives of this project are:
[1]. Investigate alternative materials for potential technology improvement at the design stage. Alternative materials are being used in a wind turbine design, however, the effect of its economic feasibility and environmental impacts studies have not been researched in depth.

[2]. One of the challenges for wind energy development is reduction of cost and this is usually obtained through minimum capital investment and therefore a system/method that can estimate return-on-investment (ROI) and CO2 emissions would be very useful to both wind turbine manufacturers and wind energy service providers.

Hence the proposed study will clearly be novel being the first of its kind to explore alternative materials for technology improvement opportunities [2] and allow policy makers to make better decisions in terms of environmental impacts and economic feasibility of wind turbines. The candidate we are looking for, should have:

• Background knowledge in design and sustainability
• Interest in Life Cycle Assessment and cost quantification
• Good mathematical skills

Funding: Must be self-funded. For further information on fees can be found:

Candidates are expected to pay an additional amount of £1,500 to cover bench fees.

Informal Enquiries
Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to: Dr Wai Ming Cheung [Email Address Removed]

How to Apply
Application forms should be requested from,

and returned to: [Email Address Removed]

Deadline for applications: Open
Start Date: Open

Funding Notes

This studentship is only open to self-funding candidates. Self-funding candidates are expected to pay University fees and to provide their own living costs. In addition, a ‘bench fee’ will have to be paid to cover project running costs (at a level that will be determined specifically for each project).


Recent publications by supervisors relevant to this project (2 maximum)
[1] Cheung, W.M., Griffin, P.W, Newnes, L, Mileham, A.R., Marsh, R. and Lanham, J., (2015), “A Roadmap for Predicting Product End-Of-Life Costs at Early Design Concept”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 87, Pages 431-441.

[2] Ozoemena, M Cheung, W. M, Hasan, R., Hackney, P, (2014) A hybrid Data Quality Indicator and statistical method for improving uncertainty analysis in LCA of a small off-grid wind turbine. In: ARCOM Doctoral Workshop on Sustainable Urban Retrofit and Technologies, 19 June 2014, London South Bank University.

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