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Research Studentship in Tidal Stream Energy

Research Studentship in Tidal Stream Energy

3-year D.Phil. (PhD) studentship starting October 2024

Project: Tidal Stream Energy

Supervisor: Prof. Richard Willden, Dr Chris Vogel, Prof. Tom Adcock, Prof. Paul Goulart, Dr Amanda Smyth

Tidal stream energy using hydrokinetic turbines to convert energy from the movement of tides to generate power is an emerging and exciting renewable energy technology that has significant scope to contribute towards achieving climate change objectives and the transition to Net Zero.

Oxford is leading the new flagship EPSRC-funded research programme CoTide: Co-design to deliver Scalable Tidal Stream Energy. CoTide seeks to develop and demonstrate new solutions and integrated tools and design processes for tidal stream energy that will help to reduce costs and support innovation to accelerate technology development and deployment. This is the largest tidal energy programme in the UK with partners across four universities and more than twenty companies and leading developers. The team consists of around forty academics and researchers including doctoral students.

We are seeking doctoral students to work on the CoTide programme with interests in one or more areas of: turbine hydrodynamics and design, resource modelling, naval architecture and ocean engineering, system optimisation and control co-design. You will work within either the hydrodynamics team, using a range of numerical modelling techniques supported by high performance computing facilities and / or experimental facilities including a new current and wave flume, or within the control team focusing on whole system optimisation and control using machine-learning based numerical optimisation methods.

Applicants may come from a range of backgrounds (e.g. engineering, physics, applied mathematics) and should have interests, and preferably experience, in a relevant area of fluid mechanics, offshore renewable energy or numerical optimisation.

The successful applicant will be a member of the Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Control groups as relevant and will join an Oxford based team of over twenty engineers with diverse interests spanning renewable energy and related problems. Further information on the groups can be found at

and on the CoTide project at


This studentship is funded by the Department of Engineering Science and is open to both UK and international applicants, although fees will only be covered at the Home rate. Further details about fee status can be found here under the “Fee Status” tab.

Award Value

Course fees will be covered at the level set for Home/ROI students (£9500 p.a. in 2024/5) and a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) will be paid at the UKRI rate

Candidate Requirements

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

  • A first class honours, or strong upper second class degree in Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or a related field,
  • Ability to undertake experimental investigations and / or scientific programming in Matlab, Python, Fortran, C/C++, etc,
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Strong understanding and experience in computational or experimental fluid dynamics,
  • Strong understanding and experience in mathematical optimisation or machine learning.

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof. Richard Willden ( in the first instance.

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 24ENGIN_RW in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on 1st December 2023

Start date: October 2024