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Real-Time hybrid testing for physical modelling of new high capacity floating offshore wind turbines

   School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

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  Dr M Hann, Dr S Sharma, Dr E Ransley, Dr Craig McNeile, Dr Chong Ng  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

DoS: Martyn Hann ([Email Address Removed], tel.: 86130)

2nd Supervisor:  Sanjay Sharma ([Email Address Removed])

3rd Supervisor: Edward Ransley ([Email Address Removed])

4rd Supervisor: Craig McNeile ([Email Address Removed])

5th Supervisor: Chong Ng ([Email Address Removed])

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The expected start date of this studentship is 1 January 2023 but will consider 1 April or 1 October 2023 start for the right candidate.

Project Description

Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWT) are widely seen as an essential part of many countries drive to achieve ‘net-zero’. Scaled physical modelling of FOWT is a critical stage in the development of new design innovations and provides essential data for validation of numerical modelling tools.

In this project a ‘Real-time hybrid testing’ (RTHT) technique will be developed to improve the physical modelling of FOWT within the UoP COAST laboratory. RTHT involves the wind turbine being replaced with thrusters which apply correctly scaled aerodynamic loads to the floating platform. The generated loads are controlled in real time using measurements of platform motion and a virtual wind time series. This controller is based on a surrogate model of the turbine loads. The surrogate model is ‘trained’ using results from more complex numerical models that cannot be run in real time.

This project will work to develop this surrogate model, focusing on the optimisation of the surrogate model training and integrating the influence of the turbine control strategy into the real time controller. After successful validation, the new developments will be applied to the physical modelling of new FOWT designed to support 20 MW turbines, investigating how coupled aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loading influence motion and loads for different platform types.

Supported by the ORE Catapult, the successful candidate will gain skills in both state of the art physical and numerical modelling of FOWT. It is envisioned that the student will work with industry partners to support their physical modelling within the COAST laboratory.


Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification.

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Martyn Hann, [Email Address Removed]

To apply for this position please visit here.

Please clearly state the name of the DoS and studentship title that you are applying for on your personal statement.

Please see here for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact [Email Address Removed].

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 10 November 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview shortly after the deadline. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Funding Notes

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £17,668.00 per annum (2022/23 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,670 per annum).
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