Research Studentship in Unsteady Fluid Dynamics of Tidal Stream Turbines

4-year DPhil (PhD) studentship starting October 2020

Supervisors: Professor Richard Willden, Dr. Christopher Vogel, Dr. Takafumi Nishino

Tidal stream energy offers a largely unexploited renewable energy source with the benefit of predictability of energy supply. Tidal environments are extremely harsh with waves and turbulence producing large unsteady loads on turbines that can result in device failure and over-conservatism in device design. Working with industrial partners this studentship will use Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling as well as laboratory scale turbine experiments to understand how unsteady flows, waves and turbulence develop unsteady rotor loading, and how this loading can be incorporated in engineering design tools.

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 programme 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.

The successful applicant will also be part of the Environmental Fluid Mechanics group at Oxford and will work as part of a team of fluid dynamicists with diverse interests spanning renewable energy and offshore fluid mechanics. Further information on the group can be found at


This studentship is jointly funded by industrial partners and the WAMESS CDT and is open to Home classified students only (full award – fees plus stipend). View full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements.

Award Value

Course fees will be covered at the level set for UK/EU students (currently £7970 p.a.) and a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) will be paid at the enhanced rate applicable to WAMESS CDT students (currently £18232 p.a.).

Candidate Requirements

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

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physics, or a related field
  • Strong understanding of fluid dynamics
  • Ability to undertake 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:

  • Experience in computational and/or experimental fluid dynamics

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Richard Willden. Please quote 20WAMESS_RW 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: Unsteady Fluid Dynamics of Tidal Stream Turbines
  • College preference: St Edmund Hall

On the “Funding” tab:

  • Are you applying for an advertised studentship competition(s): Yes
  • Advertised reference code: 20WAMESS_RW

Application Deadline

3 March 2020

Start Date

1 October 2020