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Maximizing damping of wind energy structures through the use of locally resonating yarns embedded in 3D woven composites (Ref: ReNU/Szyniszewski)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2020.

Renewable electricity generation from wind turbines (WT) is one of the fastest expanding energy sources, with over 486 GW installed around the world. Stochastic wind loading coupled with rotations of the wind turbine generate vibrations, which damage the components over time and can lead to catastrophic collapse or costly maintenance.

This project aims at minimizing vibrations of wind energy structures by enhancing the damping of 3D woven composites employed in wind turbine blades. Thus, our goal is to reduce vibrations at their source through the use of distributed, micron-size damping yarns to be interwoven into 3D fabric reinforcing the composite plates. Locally resonant structures have been successfully used in the fields of acoustics and optics to control the propagation of sound and light waves. Here, we aim at the control of the vibrational waves with the view to maximize energy dissipation into higher-order effects.

The study will require the development of an analytical model at the unit cell level based on fundamental testing of simplified configurations. Next, we will progress toward a system behaviour through the use of high-resolution non-linear simulations comprising a multitude of unit cells. Design optimization will be performed employing validated computer models. Finally, Composite Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield will manufacture prototype components. The student will learn how to: (1) describe dynamic systems analytically, (2) develop computational models of composite structures, (3) implement and leverage optimization techniques to maximize desired objectives, with the focus on topology optimization. The study will be carried out in close partnership with Composite AMRC in Sheffield, ENSAIT Textile Institute in France and Institute of Textile Machinery and High-Performance Material Technology of TU Dresden in Germany.

This project is supervised by Dr Stefan Syniszewski. For enquiries about the project, please contact .

For this project you must apply through the Durham University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please navigate to and select ‘Apply now’ followed by ‘Apply for postgraduate study.’

When completing your application, please ensure that you note that you are applying for the appropriate ReNU project by completing the application fields as follows:

Course details
• Select ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Have you been in contact with a potential supervisor?’
• Complete the ‘intended supervisor’s name’ with ReNU/Szyniszewski
• Complete Engineering as the Department

• Select ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Have you applied, or are you going to apply for a scholarship?
• Select ‘other’ from the drop-down list under, ‘Please indicate which scholarship you have applied for’
• Complete ‘Please enter the name of the Scholarship you have applied for or will be applying for’ with ReNU/Szyniszewski

The application closing date is January 31st and interviews will take place in February.

The applicant is expected to have a 1st or 2:1 class honours degree, or postgraduate Masters (preferably at Merit level) in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or Materials Science or a related subject as well as an appropriate IELTS score if required. Applicants should not be engaged with Doctoral study at Durham or elsewhere.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full Home fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rates (for 2019/20, this was £15,009 pa). Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Please note that the scholarship award is set at the Home/EU level of fees. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. Note that up to 4 offers of a PhD place will be made for the ReNU CDT projects advertised by Durham University.

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