Research Associate in Wave-Current-Turbulence-induced Fatigue and Dynamic Loading on Tidal Turbines

1. Job Details

Job title: Research Associate in Wave-Current-Turbulence-induced Fatigue and Dynamic Loading on Tidal Turbines.

School/Support Department: School of Engineering

Line manager: Dr Venki Venugopal

2. Job Purpose

This recruitment is for the EPSRC funded FlowTurb consortium ( The work involves data analysis of wave-current-turbulence interactions through site and laboratory measurements, the development of a validated methodology toolbox for analysing combined extreme wave-current-turbulence-induced fatigue, and dynamic response for a tidal turbine structure.

3. Main Responsibilities (Approx. % of time)

  1. Analyse lab measured data and quantify the effect of 3D-waves, tidal currents and turbulence intensities on the hydrodynamic loading of a scale model tidal turbine rotor and its support structure. (This may involve conducting additional laboratory measurements of wave-current loads on the tidal turbine). Develop a validated methodology toolbox for analysing combined extreme wave-current-turbulence-induced fatigue and dynamic response for a tidal turbine structure. (This may involve using an in-house developed MathCad-based tool and/or a FEM tool to determine fatigue loading. Techniques will be examined to incorporate this methodology in design software e.g. FAST). The post-holder will compile the data/results, and produce a database in a form useable by the marine energy industry and other researchers. The post-holder will work with project partner(s) within FloWTurb and conduct research on the determination of wave-current-turbulence-induced fatigue loading on the turbine’s rotor and foundation. (65%)

  2. Collaborate closely with project partners to define and develop the research described within FlowTurb framework. Dissemination and publication activities, including (but not limited to) writing peer-reviewed journal papers, attending relevant conferences to ensure that results are available in a timely and accessible format for a range of audiences, and communicating with industrial stakeholders. (25%)

  3. Developing plans for personal research, and contributing to wider development of group strategy to identify and agree priorities for current and future work. (5%)

  4. Providing guidance and mentoring support to other staff and researchers interested in integrating methods/results from this work into their own activity to ensure most effective use within the Consortium. (5%)

As part of a Research Staff member’s career and professional development as an early career academic, the School of Engineering has the expectation that the appointee will undertake some limited teaching duties.

4. Planning and Organising

• Determine the aims, objectives and deadlines for short to medium term work plan, in discussion with the Line Manager (particularly for medium term planning). 
• Plan the day-to-day work to ensure that work progresses according to the timetable agreed with the Line Manager. 
• Organise own time so that different aspects of the project can proceed in parallel. 
• Attend regular project meetings to report and review progress. 
• Contribute to long-term strategic planning and development of group activities, in discussion with the Line Manager and other researchers. 
• Participate in career development activities to support personal longer term planning

5. Problem Solving

• Overcome problems encountered in the development of new approaches and implementation of existing techniques. 
• Be proactive in overcoming any logistical and administrative problems encountered in the project. 
• Work with the project investigators and other researchers to resolve problems related to implementation of the techniques and methods used in the project.

6. Decision Making

• Manage day-to-day workload, making independent decisions about immediate priorities to meet short and medium term targets that have been agreed with the Line Manager. 
• Determine when it is best to continue working on a modelling problem/experimental testing independently and when further help should be sought, supported by regular meetings with the Line Manager.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

• Frequent (daily to weekly) contact with other researchers in the FloWTurb consortium including academic supervisor(s), other postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. 
• Regular (typically monthly to quarterly) contact with other researchers working with the FloWTurb consortium at other UK universities. 
• Regular (typically monthly to quarterly) contact with key stakeholders, likely to include industry.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


• First or upper-second class degree in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or a related subject. 
• PhD (if not already completed, must be completed by the time of appointment) in Marine Energy (Wave/Tidal/Offshore Wind)/Energy Systems Engineering or a related subject. 
• Research skills or potential at an international level. 
• Relevant experience in the analysis of waves/tides/turbulence data. 
• Background in experimental modelling and measurements of waves/tides/turbulence. 
• Fluency in data analysis and experience of writing programs/functions (e.g. Mathcad, Matlab, Fortran). 
• Understanding of the FEM method for static and dynamic analysis of beam-column structures. 
• Ability to understand and present technical information to both specialists and non-specialists at conferences and in meetings with the project leaders. 
• Excellent written communication skills in English and ability to write up own research work for publications, with associated necessary IT skills. 
• Ability to prepare suitable oral and poster presentations to convey information about research. 
• Team-working and interpersonal skills. 
• Ability to work independently and with limited supervision.


• Previous industry engagement and experience of working on a multi partner project. 
• Experience in computer simulations and field data acquisition. 
• Experience of carrying out physical testing in wave basins/wave flumes/test tanks. 
• Demonstrable ability to produce high quality technical reports.

9. Dimensions

• Work collaboratively with researchers from other universities. 
• Keep the Line Manager(s) up-to-date with progress. 
• Contribute to strategic planning within immediate group (2-4 academics, 2-3 postdoctoral staff, 2-3 PhD students).

UoE Vacancy Ref: 


Closing Date: 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Contact Name: 

Dr Vengatesan Venugopal

Contact Email: 

Contact Telephone: 

+44 (0) 131 650 5652