This studentship is part of the WindLEDeRR project funded by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. The project will develop a comprehensive decision-making tool for end-of-life wind turbines in Ireland, examining lifetime extension, anomaly detection, fatigue assessment, repurposing and sustainable decommissioning.
Closing Date for Applications: 20 October 2023
School: School of Engineering and Architecture and MaREI Research Centre
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: see advert for stipend details
Principal Investigator at UCC: Dr Paul Leahy
Funding details: €18,500 stipend per annum. EU fees of €5,500 per annum will be covered for up to two years.
Wind turbines are normally designed for 20 years lifetime. In Ireland, there will be a significant number of onshore wind turbines reaching their end-of-life (500 turbines by 2025 and 1000 by 2030). There are generally three options for wind plants at end-of-life: life extension, decommissioning and repowering.
WindLEDeRR is developing tools for life cycle assessment for the critical components of wind turbines including foundation, tower and blades. A holistic structural dynamic models of wind turbines is being developed using a multi-body approach which accounts for the aeroelastic behaviour of the wind turbines employing Irish meteorological conditions.
WindLEDeRR is running over a three-year period and is led by University College Dublin (UCD) in partnership with Trinity College Dublin (TCD), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), University College Cork (UCC), Munster Technological University (MTU) and Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions (GDG).
MaREI is a key research centre within UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) which is an internationally recognised Institute for environmental research dedicated to the understanding and protection of our natural environment and to developing innovative technologies, tools and services to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon and resource efficient society. The MaREI Centre is an SFI funded research centre headquartered in the ERI and includes 12 other Universities and Third Level Institutes from across Ireland, has 50 industrial partners and has research funding of approximately €60m. It combines the expertise of a wide range of research groups and industry partners, with the shared mission of solving the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the climate, energy and marine spaces. MaREI is also funded by SEAI, EI, EPA, ERDF, EU, HEA, Marine Institute, DCCAE and IRC, as well as through contributions from our industry partners. Researchers in the MaREI Centre have over 30 years of experience in conducting fundamental and applied research supported by competitively won national and international funding, and commercial contracts with government agencies and industry. MaREI’s strengths lie in the multi-disciplinary nature of its research teams, allowing it to combine insights across areas such as Offshore Renewable Energy Technologies, Materials & Structures, Observations & Operations, Coastal & Marine Systems, Bioenergy, Energy Policy & Modelling and Energy Management.
Description of Research
The Master’s student’s research will provide an evidence-based framework for sustainable end-of-life decisions for wind turbines, at the level of individual wind farms. The student will then scale the framework to national level in order to facilitate optimal end-of-life decision making for the wind turbine fleet. The student will work closely with other PhD students and collaborators in the WindLEDeRR partner institutions.
- Minimum 2H1 (second class honours, grade 1) honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Architecture, Energy, or other relevant discipline. Previous research/industry experience in the areas of wind energy, structural engineering, environmental engineering or waste is desirable (but not required).
- Proven technical competence and accomplishment in as many as possible the areas of market simulations, programming, and quantitative analysis.
- Demonstrable capability of working within a project team and ability to innovate.
- Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
- Excellent academic writing skills in the language of English.