While the need for renewable energy is well-established globally and in the UK, a number of engineering barriers still remain to make such energy more competitive.
Offshore wind turbines come with the promise of steadier wind energy harnessing potential than their onshore counterparts, thereby increasing the production significantly.
However, important technical challenges exist. Scour around foundations represents a key risk factor and design aspect since it modifies the main boundary condition of a very dynamic turbine structure exposed to combined wind and wave loading.
While individual components of offshore turbines are often known, there seems to be an incomplete understanding of the combined problem of scour including aspects of geotechnical, fluid and structural dynamics.
This PhD aims at reducing the problem’s complexity to its fundamental components. This will include the design and realisation of series of experiments tackling different aspects of the problem separately (e.
g. the sediment-flow interaction, the flow-structure interaction, etc.) to identify the key mechanical interactions, which will in turn enable us to adapt better-
informed designs. We will aim for simple mathematical descriptions leading to the minimum number of parameters required to predict the combined effects of all actions, which will be validated against commercial software and existing in-
house results. Therefore, experimental work will be complemented by analytical and numerical means.
The ideal candidate has at least a 2 : 1 degree in Engineering, Physics or related discipline with a strong interest in mathematical modelling.
Curiosity, enthusiasm for research, ability to think and work independently are critical requirements. Good background in structural dynamics and / or fluid mechanics is not essential but advantageous.
The successful candidate will join a vibrant and very strong department of Civil Engineering, and will have access to state-
of-the-art facilities, including diverse flumes and Iridis supercomputer (one of the largest in the UK). The project is part of a collaboration with the Dynamical Systems and Risk Lab at University College Dublin, Ireland, where supervisory / advisory role is expected from its Director, Dr Vikram Pakrashi.
The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years, including a maintenance stipend of approximately £15k per year. Due to restrictions from the funding organisation, only UK-
eligible candidates will be considered. Start date is September 2018.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Sergio Maldonado, Water and Environmental Engineering research group, Email : s.
maldonado soton.ac.uk, Tel : +44 (0) 2380 59 2662.
Please be aware that the academic selectors review applications as soon as they are received so please make sure to submit your application for consideration as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
This project is being run in participation with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (View Website).
For details of our 4 Year PhD programme and further projects, please see http : / / www.cdt-sis.soton.ac.uk /
To apply, please use the following website : http : / / www.southampton.ac.uk / engineering / postgraduate / research degrees / apply.page