Safety and risk assessment in the emerging UK sustainable energy sector

   School of Engineering

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  Dr H Tan, Dr Maureen Jennings, Dr Fuzzy Bitar  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

As power generation in the UK transitions from a predominantly hydrocarbon-based energy source to more sustainable energy sources, including wind and water (wave and tidal), there is a need to recognise the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience that exists within the hydrocarbon oil and gas industry so that lessons learnt in hazard identification and risk analysis can be transferred to the rapidly emerging sustainable energy sector. 

This project aims to develop an effective tool for the analysis of major hazards that potentially exist in the generation of power from wind energy taking into account the extensive studies that have been carried out to date, and the associated methodologies, within the oil and gas industry. The research will necessitate novel research in a quantitative risk assessment carried out on an agreed wind farm. Digital twin technology will be applied to create and simulate the risk future for the new energy system. The study will require the inclusion of human, environmental and organisational factors within the assessment. This project may require a literature review beyond the oil and gas industry to analyse data from other high-risk industries. It will also necessitate assessing all operating states of the wind farm, including normal, abnormal, maintenance, planned and unplanned shutdown, and emergency response scenarios.

The project will be jointly supervised by the University of Aberdeen and BP.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Safety Engineering. It is essential that the successful candidate has previous experience in the oil and gas industry or equivalent, and with experience within the domain of human factors or ergonomics.


Formal applications can be completed online:

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering

• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor

• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding

• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)

• Detailed CV, Personal Statement/Motivation Letter and Intended source of funding

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr H Tan ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting

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