SFI MaREI Centre, School of Engineering & Ryan Institute
Ref. No. NUIG 139-20
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as a Research Assistant/Postdoctoral Researcher on the project “Engineering Advanced Materials for Marine Energy and Aquaculture applications” within the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group in the SFI MaREI Centre based in the School of Engineering and Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
This position is funded by the Marine Institute and is available from September 2020 for a period of one year (subject to extension if additional funding becomes available).
The primary objective of this project is to develop engineering solutions to the implementation of novel composite materials (FRP) into marine structures for use in marine renewable energy and aquaculture systems. The use of composite materials in marine applications has normally been reserved for high value pleasure craft using moulded construction. There is an opportunity to adapt the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) prefabricated components into low cost marine structures suitable for mass production. Preliminary studies have shown that there is potential for significant savings in construction costs, as well as ease of construction method. What is required are robust engineering solutions for the jointing and fabrication for the complete structures made from the components which can then be utilised in energetic marine environments.
In this project, the basic structural design for joint configurations will build on preliminary work undertaken by Ocean Energy Ltd in a previous project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Using existing expertise, the specific research undertaken will be (i) produce preliminary structural designs for Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) prefabricated components for Ocean Energy Ltd’s wave energy convertor technology (ii) initial joint and adhesive characterisation, (iii) Laboratory testing of the selected joint and adhesive samples. The final technical phase will to produce preliminary structural designs of the validated joints to be incorporated into scaled field deployments – these designs will be evaluated for manufacturability and an economic assessment of the application of FRP construction for the marine energy sector and the Aquaculture market will be completed.