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PhD Studentship in Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Qualification type: PhD
Location: Glasgow, UK
Hours: Full Time
Start Date and Duration: December 2019, for 3 years.
Prompt application is advised, as this position is only available until a suitable candidate is found.
Keywords: FOWT, floating wind, offshore wind, renewable energy, offshore renewable energy, dynamics


What if a floating wind turbine were a living organism? What optimum shape would evolve into, generation after generation, subject to the Darwinian pressure of the harsh offshore metocean conditions, and the constraint to deliver clean, safe, secure, and affordable energy?

Would this shape be similar to the configurations proposed at the moment? Unlikely, since these are basically “slightly adapted” oil & gas industry configurations, evolved under a completely different context.

Since the world’s first installation of a floating large-capacity wind turbine in deep waters (Hywind project, 2009), the interest in offshore floating wind has been substantially growing. Various concepts and prototypes have since been deployed (Carbon Trust, 2015), and now the industry has progressed to the approval and development of offshore floating wind farms. Representing a new energy opportunity also for countries lacking shallow coastal waters and rich in wind resources, a number of studies and internationally coordinated research activities have been conducted.

The present project aims at developing a numerical optimisation framework that A) will allow the design of novel/unconventional shapes, B) will consider only key performance indicators when defining the final objective and constraints of the optimisation problem, therefore eliminating the “Oil & Gas bias”.

The methodology proposed will include low computational cost, frequency-based hydrodynamic approaches, complemented by higher accuracy (higher computational cost) aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, elastic dynamics coupled model of dynamics for offshore wind turbines, and the application of state-of-the-art Machine Learning approaches to create data-driven models of the dynamics of the wind turbine, in order to substantially reduce the computational cost of the whole optimisation framework.

The final outputs will be an analysis and design methodology allowing the development of novel floating support platform for wind turbines.

Name of supervisor(s)
Dr Maurizio Collu (primary) -
Dr Andrea Coraddu (secondary) -

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should have UK nationality.
Applicants should have a distinction pass at Master’s level in naval architecture/ocean engineering/mechanical engineering or a related subject, or first class BEng/BSc Honours degree, or equivalent, in naval architecture/ocean engineering/mechanical engineering or in a related subject.

Applicants must be available to commence academic studies in the UK on December 2019.
Experience with aero-hydro-servo-elastic coupled model of dynamics applied to offshore wind turbines (e.g. FAST by NREL and/or SIMO-RIFLEX by DNVGL) and hydrodynamics frequency analysis codes (WADAM, WAMIT, NEMOH) will be considered a distinct advantage.

Proficiency in a scientific programming language (MATLAB / python) is required.

How to apply

Applicants should send their application directly to Dr Maurizio Collu:
Applications should include:
- Cover Letter
- CV with two referees
- Degree transcripts and certificates


If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Maurizio Collu, e-mail:

Funding Notes

The funding covers UK student tuition fees and stipend (£18,000 per year) in line with University rates.

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