PhD scholarship in Slamming Loads on Offshore Wind Monopiles

Tuesday 03 Sep 19

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The Department of Wind Energy in the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Wind Energy) is seeking a PhD for the Section of Fluid Mechanics.

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.

The department has a strong track record in offshore wind energy. The research span from offshore wind resource assessment over detailed structural modelling to grid integration. At the Fluid Mechanics section, research into loads from nonlinear and breaking waves has been undertaken for many years, both with respect to the detailed load physics and Engineering models. The present project deals with slamming load on monopile structures, with special emphasis on the physical effects behind their strong stochastic variability.

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DTU has a strategic collaboration agreement with SINTEF and NTNU (Norwegian Technical University) and has established the Nordic Offshore Wind Research and Innovation Centre (NOWRIC). The NOWRIC Center is a solid platform for both academic and industrial collaboration. DTU Wind Energy supports the Center with this PhD position.

Breaking wave loads on monopile structures for offshore wind turbines during storms can be dimensioning. The wave breaking adds an extra load component which is associated with strong stochastic variation due to transverse instability of the wave front. The best a model can do is thus to describe the expected (mean) value of the slamming load.

The goal of the present project is to go beyond the mean value, and quantify the statistical distribution of slamming loads around the mean value. This is aided by CFD modelling of wave impacts. Targeted physical model tests are next carried out at NTNU, matching the numerical calculations. The final result is an improved slamming description, which links the observed experimental variability to the CFD results with transverse instability.

The present PhD project will be associated to the Nordic Offshore Wind Research and Innovation Center, and will take advantage of collaboration with researchers at both DTU, NTNU and SINTEF.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD study will include both mathematical, numerical and experimental investigations. The experiments will be carried out during two 6 month stays at NTNU. The tasks include 

  • Setup of a CFD solver for breaking wave impacts
  • Development of analytical submodels for the interpretation of the results
  • Design and conduction of the experiments at NTNU
  • Analysis of the measurement data
  • Validation of the numerical model
  • Deduction of parameters for an Engineering slamming model
The successful candidate is required to have: 
  • Documented knowledge of Wave hydrodynamics and offshore engineering
  • A well developed level of Applied Mathematics
  • Documented knowledge on Fluid Mechanics and a well developed physical understanding
  • Experience with numerical modelling and programming
  • Knowledge and experience with CFD modelling will be an advantage
  • Ability to work in a project team and take responsibility for own research goals
  • Fluency in communicating and reporting in English
The successful candidate must also fulfill the requirements for admission to a doctoral program at both DTU and NTNU.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are 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 Prof. Henrik Bredmose from DTU and Prof. Trygve Kristiansen from NTNU.

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 and challenging 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.

The workplace will be DTU Wind Energy at DTUs Lyngby Campus. During the 3 years of employment, two stays at NTNU of 6 month duration will take place with a focus on the experimental part of the study. It is expected that the candidate will obtain a double doctorate degree from both NTNU and DTU jointly, according to the framework agreement of 4 January 2017.

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Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Henrik Bredmose,, +45 4525 4315 or Head of Section, Professor Jens Nørkær Sørensen,, +45 4525 4314.

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Please submit your online application no later than 22 September 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.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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.