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Research Studentship in Wind and Marine Energy

Project: Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures

Up to three 4-year DPhil (PhD) studentships starting September 2021

Supervisor: Professor Chris Martin, Professor Richard Willden 

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures (WAMESS CDT) is a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford, Strathclyde, and Edinburgh. All students on the WAMESS CDT course undertake a comprehensive programme of taught modules, as well as an individual doctoral research project. Further details can be found on the course page on the University’s graduate admissions website.

The WAMESS CDT will be admitting its third cohort of students in September 2021, and up to three DPhil studentships (covering fees at Home/ROI level) will be available for outstanding applicants. The main research areas in the Oxford stream of the CDT are geotechnical engineering and fluid mechanics, though applications that link with other areas of civil engineering relevant to offshore renewable energy (e.g. structural dynamics, structural health monitoring) are also welcome.

The geotechnical research group at Oxford currently has a strong focus on foundations for offshore wind turbines and other offshore renewables, with research areas spanning numerical and theoretical modelling, laboratory testing of soils and foundations, field testing, and development of design guidance. The group has close relationships with industry, including collaborations with most of the UK's main wind farm developers through recent joint industry projects such as PISA and ALPACA, and the current Ørsted-funded PICASO project.

Our fluid mechanics activities in offshore renewable energy include tidal stream and wind energy research, with current interests spanning whole wind and tidal farm modelling, extreme waves and wave interactions with offshore structures, tidal turbine design including novel concepts, constructive turbine interference and unsteady loading. This research is supported through access to High Performance Computing facilities and a new state of the art combined current and wave flume.

The CDT is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and is keen to attract applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds.


These studentships are funded by the WAMESS CDT and are open to Home/ROI classified students. Further details can be found here under the “Fee Status” 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 soil mechanics / fluid dynamics, depending on the proposed research area (please indicate this in your Statement of Purpose)
  • 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 computational and/or experimental work in the proposed research area

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Chris Martin ( for geotechnics, and Professor Richard Willden ( for fluid mechanics. Please quote 21ENGCI_CM 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: Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures

On the “Funding” tab:

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


Application deadline: 30 June 2021

Start date: 27 September 2021