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Utility-scale wind farm yield maximisation through climate-relevant AI-enabled siting, reliability and energy storage technologies


Project Description

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) established the Center of Excellence for Energy Research, Education and Entrepreneurship (COE - Energy) at Ain Shams University (ASU) in Egypt in collaboration with partner universities: Mansoura University and Aswan University. Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Government of Egypt, the Center of Excellence for Energy is a formal partnership between Egyptian and American universities and the private sector to foster research, scholarships, and innovations in energy.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE:
Research Assistants / Research Scientists (candidates holding a BSc degree)
Research Associates/Senior Research Scientists (candidates holding a MSc degree)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (candidates holding a PhD degree)

This project will develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based wind farm yield-maximisation and decision support platform, which is useful for the deployment of wind energy in Egypt and the Middle East. MIT and ASU teams will build on the activities at ASU’s Wind Engineering Centre, and will develop a pre-commercial AI-enabled platform that will maximise the reliability and economic gain of Egypt’s wind farms. This will be achieved by working on novel wind-and-turbine physics coupling; integrated pumped hydro reverse osmosis system (IPHROS) optimisation; and efficient machine-learning control and prognosis algorithms. The solution developed by this project will be climate-relevant and aimed at regulators; planners; developers; and operators of wind farms.

PARTICULARS OF AVAILABLE ROLES

Research and postdoctoral positions are available for the three following themes addressing the fundamental research questions of the project:

- Active fluid flow control of wind turbines: How could advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology produce more accurate, climate-relevant, wind farm wake models leading to more realistic wake loss factors, wind farm area requirements, infra-structure costs and land topologies?

- Mechanical/Structural condition monitoring: How might active wake control affect the lifetime of wind turbines? And how can large and sparse amounts of turbines’ condition monitoring data be managed to predict effective and meaningful decisions about a wind farm’s operational regime and maintenance schedules?

- Energy system thermo-economic modelling/design: Given wind intermittency, curtailment aspects, and environmental effects on wind turbines, how could energy storage systems together with cogeneration ideas -such as farm irrigation/water desalination- be designed to provide the best economic outcome to wind farm operators while ensuring grid stability?

GENERAL ROLES CRITERIA

Salaried positions are tenable for three years on a full-time basis, at ASU, Cairo, Egypt. Monthly salaries will be determined based on the candidates’ experiences and the position they apply for (Research Assistants, Associates or Postdocs). Successful candidates will enjoy a collaborative work environment with research teams at the MIT, and access to state-of-the-art experimental and modelling tools.

The positions are open for national and international applicants. However, applicants for research assistants or research associates will need to enroll for a MSc or PhD program at Ain Shams University to be able to receive financial compensation. Post-doctoral candidates need not enroll in a post-graduate program.

The responsibilities include studying the relevant literature, defining the research problems based on the project descriptions, conducting independent research, regularly reporting progress and results, collaborating with other team-members, and writing reports/papers of the research outcomes when appropriate.

ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS

Successful candidates are expected to have obtained at least Engineering BSc degrees in Mechanical, or Energy-related program. Candidates should additionally have a decent foundation in computational science and experimental techniques covering one or more of the following: fluid dynamics/turbulence; aerodynamics; flow-structure interaction; structural mechanics; vibration/acoustics monitoring; turbomachines; machine design; deep/machine learning for mechanical systems; mechanical design optimisation; and thermodynamic modelling.


BENEFITS

Successful candidates will be eligible to spend a research semester at the MIT campus, Boston MA, in the United States of America.

Successful candidates will be eligible to apply for a full scholarship to earn an MITx Micro-Masters in Energy. This MIT program will be offered in 2020/2021.

SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION

To apply for one of the research positions, please send your academic CV and a motivation letter (identifying what motivated you to apply, and what you could add to the research team) to

Interested applicants may contact Dr Amr Elbanhawy and Prof Adel Elsabbagh at: for questions about the roles.

IMPORTANT: In the subject line of your application email, please use the following abbreviations (reference codes) for the positions as follows:

- YIELDUP RAJ Application (for Research Assistant/Research Scientist roles)
- YIELDUP RAS Application (for Research Associate/Senior Research Scientist roles)
- YIELDUP PDF Application (for Postdoctoral Research Fellow roles)

Funding Notes

Candidates are expected to enjoy solid knowledge of mathematics, and are expected to be able to use computer programming tools. Candidates should be highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in conducting international and interdisciplinary research.

Priority for employment, and salary, will be given to candidates with strong academic record and publication potential.

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