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Job Record #16885
TitleFully funded PhD oppotunity on advanced flow control techniques
CategoryPhD Studentship
EmployerDepartment of MCE, Northumbria University
LocationUnited Kingdom, Tyne & Wear, Newcastle upon Tyne
InternationalYes, international applications are welcome
Closure DateFriday, January 29, 2021
Please see details at 

Advanced flow control on large-scale floating offshore wind turbines

About the Project
This PhD project echoes the latest UK government’s green energy plan. Top 10% 
Q1 journal papers and peer-reviewed international conferences will be expected 
from this innovative research. These potential research outputs will deeply 
enhance national and international research impacts in the subject of 
aerodynamics and mechanical engineering, providing sustainable research 
platforms for future research grants.

The UK is the world’s biggest offshore wind energy market with 10.4 GW of total 
installed capacity, aiming to produce electricity to power every home in the 
country by 2030, boosting the target to 40GW. As a part of the government's 
commitment towards net zero emissions by 2050 and the creation of 60,000 jobs, 
the UK’s new target for floating offshore wind is to deliver 1GW of energy by 
2030, which is over 15 times the current volumes worldwide. To maintain the 
position as global leader in offshore wind energy, £160 million will be invested 
to support the research and manufacture of the next generation of offshore wind 
turbines in the UK.

One of the most significant technical challenges is the efficiency of offshore 
wind turbines, which is still far from ideal. Due to the complicated offshore 
wind conditions and the larger scale of offshore wind rotors, the effects of the 
vertical gradient of the atmospheric boundary layer velocity along with 
turbulent flows must be considered in blade design. Considering the significant 
difference in the incoming flow from the root to the tip of the large-scale 
offshore wind turbine blades, even the most advanced independent pitch control 
technology is not capable to eliminate the adverse effects caused by the 
periodic variation of the inflow, not to mention dealing with random and high-
frequency turbulent winds. The resulted flow separation on wind turbine blades 
causes higher drag, lower lift, and hence poorer aerodynamic efficiency.

Advanced flow control has been proved to be an effective approach to in 
significantly improve aerodynamic performance of turbine blades. In terms of 
active control, an emerging flow control approach----plasma jet technique is 
well known for its embeddedness, lightness and convenience. Relevant research 
has been focused on aerofoils only, but the research on rotating blades is 
almost blank. In terms of passive control, it has been practically demonstrated 
that vortex generators (VGs) can significantly increase turbine efficiency but 
there is still no complete theory explaining the mechanisms of dynamic stall in 
wind turbines with vortex generators. The novelty of this research will be based 
on these flow control techniques, and aim to propose an innovative theory 
explaining the mechanisms of active and passive flow control on rotating blades, 
investigating with the most cutting-edge techniques such as Machine Learning, 
Dielectric Barrier Discharge and self-designed VG arrays. The potential PhD 
student will be able to use the research-level facilities and equipment such as 
low speed wind tunnel, surface DBD exciter, particle image velocimetry (PIV) and 
advanced 3D printers to investigate experimentally and to conduct CFD 
simulations to numerically investigate the flow control mechanisms of the novel 
research, validating with the self-designed wind tunnel experiments.

The principal supervisor for this project is Dr. Shaun Shen.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from 
non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters 
(preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner 
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral 
study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application 
form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of 
approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the 
advert reference (e.g. RDF21/EE/MCE/SHENShaun) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: 29 January 2021
Start Date: 1 October 2021
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of 
our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community.
Funding Notes
The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students, 
and includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2020/21, 
this is £15,285 pa) and full tuition fees.
Contact Information:
Please mention the CFD Jobs Database, record #16885 when responding to this ad.
NameRecruitment Manager
Email ApplicationNo
Record Data:
Last Modified17:25:45, Monday, December 07, 2020

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