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PhD Scholarship in Optimisation of the Internal Structure of Wind Turbine Blades

   Aura CDT

   Monday, June 06, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Modern wind turbine blades are large structures, with complex geometries and they are subjected to a large number of aerodynamic loading cases and design constraints. Many new wind farms are under constructions and many more are planned for the future. In this context the efficiency and reliability of wind turbine blades are paramount. The topic of this project is to study ways to optimise the structural design of the blades to reduce their weight and increase their reliability.

Structural optimisation techniques are frequently used as part of the design process for many applications, but the numerous design constraints that wind turbine blades are subjected makes it a hard problem. Also, the newest designs involve composite materials which add an extra layer of complexity to the problem but also new ways to optimise the design. Composite materials are characterised by a mesoscopic structure that can be highly customised opening the door to optimisation methods. This project will deliver novel numerical techniques that allow engineers to better design wind turbine blades. In the scope of this project, the methods are applied to blade designs and the results of the optimisation process are analysed and assessed.

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 before completing their PhD research at Durham University.

For more information visit Or if you have a direct question about the project, please email and we will forward the query to the relevant supervisor. Please do not contact the project supervisors directly.

The Supervisors are:

Dr Stefano Giani, Durham University

Prof Will Coombs, Durham University

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 or Maths and have a good knowledge of finite element methods, with the ability to code in MatLab or similar programming language, we would like to hear from you.

Applications are made via an online form. Visit the Aura CDT website for more information:

Funding Notes

Funding is available for Home students only. The full-time Aura CDT PhD Scholarship includes fees and maintenance (£16,062 per annum, 2022/23 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress.

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