Aerodynamics of Offshore Wind Farms

RESEARCH PROJECT. The UK is world leader in the development and deployment of offshore wind energy farms. The UK Government is strongly determined to support the fast growth of this sustainable energy sector to contribute addressing the climate crisis. Offshore Wind Industry Council is proposing, under a Sector Deal, to deliver 30GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 50GW by 2050, whilst reducing the average price of electricity by 18%. Academic research is urgently needed to support this tremendous growth, to ensure that challenges are foreseen and addressed, and that the over system is efficient and sustainable. A key challenge of large wind farm is how turbine speed and yaw are controlled to maximise energy harvesting, as well as durability and resilience. This PhD project aims to investigate the aerodynamics of large-scale arrays of wind turbines and to develop low order models that will underpin wind farm control. The project will include the development high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics models using OpenFOAM (unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes models and Large Eddy Simulations), as well as low order models based on first principles. 

RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT. The student will join the CDT in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures, which is jointly led by the Universities of Edniburgh, Oxford and Strathclyde. As part of the CDT, the student will attend specialist courses from October to February, and will start the research project from February. She/he will be based within the Institute for Energy Systems (IES) of the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. IES is a world-leading multi-disciplinary research institute with a strong focus on offshore renewable energy. It includes more than 20 staff, 20 PDRAs and 50 PhD students. Between 2003 and 2018, IES has hosted the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research (UKCMER) and since 2017 it hosts the Centre for Advanced Materials for Marine Energy Generation (CAMREG). This PhD project bridges the two centres and complements one of the two SUPERGEN Marine projects on unsteady hydrodynamics of tidal turbines led by IES (FloWTurb, EP/N021487/1). IES is the founder and chair of the Ocean Energy Group within the European Energy Research Alliance, which will provide international links and accelerate the impact of the project.

The student will join the Vortex Interaction Collaboratory (VOILAb), whose research in vortex-dominated flow is internationally renowned. The group, led by Ignazio Maria Viola, is made of six PhD students and two postdocs, including CDT students G. Pisetta and A. Pavar.


This position has now closed because it has been filled. Please check for other opportunities. 

Further Information: 

Closing Date: 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Offshore wind farm
Offshore wind farm

Principal Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Applications are welcomed from those who have secured their own funding through scholarships or sponsorships. No internal funds are available for this project. 

Informal Enquiries: