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WAMESS CDT Studentship in Geotechnical Design for Offshore Wind Turbines

WAMESS CDT Studentship in Geotechnical Design for Offshore Wind Turbines

4-year DPhil studentship  (October 2023)

Supervisor: Professor Byron Byrne

Oxford has a leading reputation for development of design methods applied to monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines. The research explores realistic modelling of foundation behaviour under cyclic loads from wind and waves, exploring theoretical developments, numerical analysis, laboratory testing and medium scale field testing. This project offers flexibility to develop new ideas within the wider program of work, focusing on any one of the following subject areas: (i) 1D finite element modelling for monopile foundations under cyclic loading; (ii) soil constitutive model development and implementation in 3D finite element analysis; (iii) constitutive model calibration using data from cyclic soil element tests; (iv) supervision of field testing and analysis of data for cyclic loading of monopiles; (v) sophisticated laboratory soil element model testing; or (vi) laboratory scale model pile testing. The successful candidate will join a thriving research group interacting with industry collaborators to deliver their research project. Enthusiasm and aptitude for solving complex problems, to deliver solutions for the green energy transition are essential. The successful applicant will be a member of the EPSRC 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 can be found on the following course page.


This studentship is funded by EPSRC through the WAMESS CDT and is open to Home Students.

Award Value

Course fees will be covered at the level set for Home Students (£8,960 p.a. for 2023/24) and a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) will be paid at the enhanced rate applicable to WAMESS CDT students (£21,845 p.a. for 2023/24).

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how 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 mechanics
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English
  • Knowledge of geotechnical engineering
The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Previous experience of laboratory based work or computational methods
  • An aptitude for theoretical methods in geotechnical engineering based on plasticity theory
  • Ability to undertake scientific programming (e.g. in Matlab, Python, Fortran or C/C++)

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Professor Byron Byrne ( Please quote 23ENGSCI_BB in all correspondence.

Formal applications are to be made using the online Graduate Application Form 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: WAMESS CDT Studentship in Geotechnical Design for Offshore Wind Turbines

On the “Funding” tab:

  • Are you applying for an advertised studentship competition(s): Yes
  • Advertised reference code: 23ENGSCI_BB

Application deadline

25 August 2023

Start date

1 October 2023