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Real-time control of oscillating water column wave energy devices

Centre for Ocean Energy Research

About the Project

The Centre for Ocean Energy Research (COER) at Maynooth University, Ireland has further opportunities for well-qualified applicants interested in PhD level research.

Applicants should be well qualified to bachelors or masters degree level in one of the following areas: mechanical/mechatronic engineering, electronic engineering, control engineering, or exceptional students in applied maths or hydrodynamics may be considered.

The project will be supervised by Prof. John Ringwood (

Energy maximising control systems have the capability to significantly improve the economic viability of wave energy systems and this project focusses on oscillating water column (OWC) devices, which have achieved some commercial penetration. The project will include control system design, control implementation and experimental analysis. Since the wave energy control problem is, in general, non-causal, with some of the key measurements unmeasurable, the project will also include some estimation and forecasting components.

The project will feature the recently developed moment-based wave energy control analysis and synthesis tools pioneered at COER, in partnership with Prof. Alessandro Astolfi's group at Imperial College, London. The project will include academic collaborators at Dundalk Institute of Technology (experimental wave tank facilities), Imperial College London (moment-domain analysis) and also an industry partner who is developing a commercial OWC device.

The project is part of the SFI-funded MaREI (Marine Renewable Energy Ireland) Research Centre (, of which COER is a constituent partner, and the successful candidate will join a dynamic group of postdoctoral, PhD and other researchers in COER, who work on the development of wave energy technology, involving MaREI-specific projects, and projects funded from other sources. COER has a wide range of industrial and academic collaborators.


PhD candidates should be well-qualified academically to bachelors (preferably H1) or masters level. The project will require a mix of skills, including mathematical modelling, programming and simulation skills, as well as the development of control, state estimation and forecasting algorithms. Applicants should have a background in mechanical, mechatronic or electrical/electronic engineering, fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics, applied mathematics or control systems. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills and programming ability.

Further information on COER is available at:
or contact Carrie Anne;

Funding Notes

A tax-free stipend of €18,500 is available, and PhD fees are also covered for the project. The project also provides adequate funding for equipment, materials and travel (conferences, courses, secondment, etc) and are tenable for a 4-year structured PhD.

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