PhD Scholarship in Atmospheric turbulence characterization under inhomogeneous inflow conditions using nacelle-lidar measurements

Monday 30 Sep 19

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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher – PhD position 

General information about the Lidar Knowledge Europe (LIKE) project


LIdar Knowledge Europe (LIKE) fosters training and education of young researchers on emerging laser-based wind measurement technologies and their translation into industrial applications. Doppler Lidars (light detection and ranging) that measure the wind in the atmosphere remotely have reduced in price and increased in reliability over the last decade mainly done by European universities and companies serving the growing wind energy industry. This opens the possibility for new applications in many areas. LIKE improves, tests and refines the technology thus expanding these areas of application. LIKE promotes wind energy applications such as wind resource mapping using scanning lidars and control of single wind turbines or entire wind farms in order to increase energy production and reduce mechanical loads. LIKE maps unusual atmospheric flow patterns over airports in real-time and thus improves the safety of landing aircrafts. LIKE explores wind and turbulence under extreme conditions at the sites of future European bridges paving the road for optimal bridge design. LIKE trains 15 ESRs to an outstanding level at European academic institutions and industrial companies, thus forming strong interdisciplinary relations between industry and technical sciences. These relations are implemented through employment of the ESRs at academia as well as industry, and through inter-sectoral secondments. Finally, translation of technology into specific applications is emphasised through the implementation of an entrepreneurship training course LIKE partners, particularly industry.

Further information on the Innovation Training Network Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Lidar Knowledge Europe (LIKE) at

The Department of Wind Energy in the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Wind Energy) is seeking a PhD for the Section of Meteorology and Remote Sensing.


DTU Wind Energy is a mission driven university department with a vision to be the preferred university partner for the global wind energy sector. The department creates value for society through integration of research with education, innovation and research-based consultancy within key fields central to the development and use of wind energy.


Please look at for more details on the type of activities we undertake. 

Responsibilities and tasks

Nacelle lidars have a great potential for improving the energy capture of wind turbines as they can potentially measure more effectively over the volume of air that interacts with the turbine compared to traditional nacelle anemometry. Therefore, turbine control strategies, and load assessment and validation methods, among others, can enormously benefit from nacelle-lidar measurements. Wind turbines typically yaw with the wind; thus nacelle lidars have the advantage to measure radial velocities (and the variances of those) close or equal to the longitudinal wind speed component (and its variance), which is the main driver for load estimation, and a key parameter for power performance assessments and wake-deficit characterization. Therefore, it is important to find ways to characterize the inhomogeneous inflow using nacelle-lidar measurements, since such inflow conditions are those experienced by the current wind turbines due to their sizes and deployment locations.

The objectives of the PhD project are to

1) investigate how to characterize the inflow with nacelle-lidar measurements under inhomogeneous conditions, e.g. flow under wake situations and flow interacting with very large wind turbines.

2) analyze the best ways and strategies to scan inhomogeneous inflow with nacelle lidars for optimizing the turbine’s energy capture and for mitigation of the loads for both individual turbines and wind farms.

3) evaluate the benefits of retrieval of high-order wind field characteristics from nacelle-lidar measurements for both wake modelling and control strategies.

Expected results

The following are the main expected outputs from this PhD study:

  • A comprehensive study on how to characterize inhomogeneous inflow using lidar measurements
  • Propose strategies for optimal scanning of inhomogeneous inflow and turbulence using lidars
  • Demonstrate the benefits of lidar-based turbulence retrievals for control strategies

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in Meteorology, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Remote Sensing or similar.


The successful candidate is also required to have:

  • Documented background in boundary-layer and/or wind-power meteorology
  • Documented background in atmospheric turbulence
  • Background in turbine control is encouraged
  • Background in numerical simulation of atmospheric flow is encouraged
  • Ability to work in a project team and take responsibility for own research goals
  • Fluency in communicating and reporting in English

In addition, the successful candidate should satisfy at the time of the recruitment the following mandatory characteristics:

  • having not more than 4 years of equivalent research experience (i.e. working as researcher after obtaining your master’s degree);
  • having not been awarded a title of PhD;
  • having not resided or carried out her/his main activity in Denmark; for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

The successful candidate must also fulfill the requirements for admission to a doctoral program at DTU.

The present PhD project will take advantage of collaboration with researchers at DTU, Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, and Renewable Energy Systems.

Starting Date: 1st January 2020 (preferable) and latest 1st April 2020.

Duration: 36 months.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Head of Section, Dr. Hans E. Jørgensen, Prof. Jakob Mann, Dr. Charlotte Hasager and Dr. Alfredo Pena from DTU.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

For more info about salary calculation, the requisites for Family allowance and more details on the employment conditions, please see the founding body rules:


The workplace will be DTU Wind Energy, Risø Campus in Roskilde. During the 3 years of employment, one stay at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences of 4 months duration will take place.  Also one stay at Renewable Energy Systems of 2 months duration is envisioned.

You can read more about
career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Dr. Senior Researcher, Supervisor of the present PhD project, Scientist Alfredo Pena,, +45 2367 6361, Team-leader of the Section Meteorology and Remote Sensing, LIKE project manager Charlotte Hasager,, +45 4677 5014, or  Professor Jakob Mann,, +45 2136 2962.

You can read more about DTU Wind Energy on


Please submit your online application no later than 23 October 2019 (local time).


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • A 1-page research statement. Through the research statement, the applicants have the chance to present a research problem that interests them and propose how it might be investigated. The research problem should be preferably related to the topic of the advertised PhD position.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


The Department of Wind Energy is one of the world’s largest centres of wind energy research and knowledge, with a staff of more than 240 people from 37 countries working in research, innovation, research-based consulting and education. DTU Wind Energy has approximately 40 PhD students. The department’s cross-disciplinary research is organized through strategic research programmes that collaborate with Danish and international universities, research institutions and organizations, as well as the wind industry. 

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.