Meet the future Sinem

Meet the future - PhD student Özge Sinem Özçakmak from DTU Wind Energy

Tuesday 03 Mar 20


Özge Sinem Özçakmak
DTU Wind Energy
+45 93 51 15 65
Özge Sinem Özçakmak is 30 years old and an enthusiastic PhD student at DTU Wind Energy. She is interested in the importance of aerodynamics for wind turbine design, and she works full time on this topic here at the Department of Wind Energy.

Originally, Sinem, as she introduces herself, is from Ankara in Turkey. Here, she studied at Middle East Technical University at the Aerospace Engineering Department. After studying, she continued at the department as a research assistant while doing her masters on experimental aerodynamics of aircraft wings. Then she found out that she would like to continue her research in wind energy. Consequently, she traveled from her home country to Belgium, where it is possible to study and do research into wind energy and learn different approaches. She obtained her "research master" degree at The von Karman Institute, Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics Department, and wanted to continue her studies by doing a PhD on wind energy.

Why did you choose to do your PhD at DTU Wind Energy?
“DTU Vindenergi is one of the leading institutions in wind energy research, so I wanted to come here and take my PhD degree”, says Sinem. Furthermore, it was an important factor for her that "Denmark is one of the leading countries in wind energy", as she puts it. A reputation of which she had already heard from her professors at her university in Turkey. "In general, it is a good motivation to know that your contribution is on wind energy research which benefits the environment", she says. In 2016, she joined the Section for Aerodynamic Design at DTU Wind Energy and started her PhD, which has the working title "Transition Modeling for Wind Turbine Rotors". Her supervisors are Professor Niels Sørensen, and Research Specialist Helge Aagaard Madsen (both from the Section for Aerodynamic Design) and Professor Jens Nørkær Sørensen, from the Section for Fluid Mechanics.

What is your research about?
“My interest mainly lies within the aerodynamics of wind turbine blades”, she says. More precisely, in her research she tries to understand, characterize and model the laminar-turbulent boundary layer transition behavior of the wind turbine blades, which is the wind flow on the blade as it is moving from a smooth (laminar) state to a more chaotic (turbulent) one. Sinem elaborates: “By modeling this behaviour, we get better aerodynamic performance predictions and it is possible to improve the design of the wind turbine blades and thereby reduce the waste of energy”.

So, is the ambition to improve the design of the model of the wind turbine blades?
“Indirectly yes, because better (more realistic) aerodynamic predictions in the process of designing a blade will result in more efficient turbines when installing them in the field. So, basically the wind turbine will work in real atmospheric conditions as close as possible to the designed, computed case”, Sinem says.
When asked where her research may be applied, she replies that the project she is working on is an internal DTU project and that the interest of the industry is pronounced. She sees this interest at international conferences, among other places: “Many wind turbine companies are interested in this field of research. They would like to improve their calculation models for the transition phase from laminar wind to more turbulent wind around the wind turbine blades. The models are of great importance for the final design of the wind turbine blade”, Sinem explains.

Do you have any good advice for upcoming PhD students?
“Actually, I have two tips for upcoming PhD students: Choose the subject carefully so you are motivated for it, because these are three important years of your life. Secondly, don´t be afraid to discuss with other people at the department. People are equal and there is no hierarchy. Everyone can discuss with each other. And do look forward to going here because DTU Wind Energy is one of the best places to carry out a PhD thesis”, Sinem concludes.

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