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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland


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Fully Funded EPSRC PhD Scholarship in improving the accessibility of offshore wind infrastructure in hostile environments – Hariot Watt University

This project will primarily be based at the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT), Heriot-Watt University, Orkney Campus

Offshore wind farms are increasingly proposed for more remote and challenging environments. An example is the four “ScotWind” option sites (N1 – N4) north and west of Scotland. These sites are exposed to a ferocious wind and wave climate in winter. The sites are attractive for high and sustained wind power but are challenging with respect to access for pre-commissioning and operational activities in adverse environmental conditions. Pre-commissioning (15%) and operations and maintenance (35%) are estimated to amount together to typically half the lifetime costs of energy from offshore wind farms and this may be exceeded in the most challenging environments. An initial analysis has shown that accessibility of N1 – N4 for necessary operations with existing technology is poor, especially but not exclusively in winter. The project will develop methods to improve accessibility in such environments; examples are given below but the successful candidate should innovate beyond these.:

  1. Effective appliance of climatological data for strategic planning
  2. Merging of data and forecasts from multiple sources and timely interpretation for operational purposes
  3. Identification and evaluation of appropriate technological advances to increase accessibility, or to reduce the need for human access.
  4. Modification of industry practice within governance constraints

Co-design, testing and assessment of the combined portfolio of will be in collaboration with the industrial partner.

A multi-disciplinary supervisory team will be led by Dr David Woolf , supported by Dr Simon Waldman and Dr Karen Alexander

This is a full scholarship which will cover tuition fees (Home student only) and provide an annual stipend for 42 months. The standard EPSRC stipend will be uplifted by £6,000 per annum for a total of £25,237, thanks to the support of Offshore Wind Power Ltd. If completion slips beyond 42 months, students will be expected to pay a continuing affiliation fee (currently £130) whilst they complete writing up their thesis.

This project is available to “home” students only.

How to apply
To apply you must complete our online application form. Please select PhD Environment as the programme and include the full project title, reference number and supervisor name on your application form. Ensure that all fields marked as ‘required’ are complete.

The closing date for applications is 26th April 2024 with interviews in May 2024. Applicants should be available to start the PhD in September 2024.

More Details here

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