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Research Studentship in Offshore Wind Structures

Research Studentship in Offshore Wind Structures

Project: Monitored Data Analysis of Offshore Wind Structures

4-year D.Phil. (PhD) studentship starting October 2021

Supervisor: Professor Ross McAdam

This studentship will study the estimation of offshore wind turbine structural properties, in particular foundation characteristics, through the analysis of monitored data. The project will focus either on: (i) the implementation of laboratory scale model testing, to create benchmark monitoring datasets and explore monitoring strategies; or (ii) the development and implementation of system identification methods, to estimate foundation structural properties. The project contributes to the emerging area under development at Oxford, of field data driven identification methods that can provide critical feedback to offshore wind turbine foundation design. The applicant will join a strong team of students, academics and offshore wind industrial partners, aiming to integrate the latest geotechnical and structural dynamic models to improve offshore wind turbine design. There will be good opportunities to collaborate with others in the group, on numerical, experimental and identification methods for offshore wind turbine dynamics. Field scale monitoring data is available from a number of offshore wind sites and multiple industrial partners, who are engaged with this activity. Candidates demonstrating a strong appreciation for modelling of structural dynamics are sought.

The successful applicant will be a member of the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures (WAMESS CDT), which is a collaboration between the Universities of Strathclyde, Oxford and Edinburgh. Further details of the WAMESS CDT can be found on the course page on the University’s graduate admissions website. The CDT is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and is keen to attract applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds.


This studentship is funded through the WAMESS CDT and is open to both UK and International students, although fees will only be covered at the Home/ROI rate. Further details can be found here under the “Fee Status” tab and here under the “Funding and Costs” tab.

Award Value

Course fees will be covered at the level set for Home/ROI students (currently £8290 p.a.) and a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) will be paid at the enhanced rate applicable to WAMESS CDT students (currently £18508 p.a.).

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class, or strong upper second class, honours degree in general engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or other relevant discipline such as physics or applied mathematics
  • Excellent mathematical skills
  • Strong understanding of structural mechanics
  • Ability to undertake scientific programming (e.g. in Matlab, Python, Fortran or C/C++)
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Previous experience of dynamic laboratory testing and/or modelling
  • Knowledge of system identification or structural health monitoring approaches
  • Previous experience of geotechnical foundation design and/or modelling

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Ross McAdam ( Please quote 21ENGCI_RM in all correspondence.

Formal applications are to be made using the online Graduate Application Form that is accessible through the WAMESS CDT course page (click the “Apply” button on the “How to Apply” tab). When filling out the fields of the Graduate Application Form, please observe the following guidance.

On the “Course” tab:

  • Proposed field and title of research project: Experimental Methods for Dynamic Measurement and Modelling of Offshore Wind Structures

On the “Funding” tab:

  • Are you applying for an advertised studentship competition(s): Yes
  • Advertised reference code: 21ENGCI_RM


Application deadline: 2nd July 2021

Start date: 4th October 2021