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  3. PhD: Aerodynamic and aeroelastic design and analysis of a new concept of Offshore Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (2 PhD positions)

PhD: Aerodynamic and aeroelastic design and analysis of a new concept of Offshore Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (2 PhD positions)

As the effects of climate change are becoming ever more visible, Europe has raised its target for the amount of energy it consumes from renewable sources from …

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


As the effects of climate change are becoming ever more visible, Europe has raised its target for the amount of energy it consumes from renewable sources from the previous goal of 27% to 32% by 2030. Offshore wind energy can play a key role in achieving the EU target and contribute to the required 40% reduction in CO2 emissions. However, to achieve the previously mentioned targets the cost of offshore wind must be reduced.

These 2 (two) PhD vacancies are part of the H2020 X-Rotor project, which aims to develop disruptive new offshore wind turbine concept known as the “X-Rotor”. The X-Rotor has potential to reduce the cost of energy (CapEx and OpEx) from offshore wind by up to 20%, based on a conservative estimate from early feasibility study work. The X-Rotor concept is an offshore Vertical Axis Wind Turbine with blade-tip mounted Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines for power conversion.

The two PhD students will be part of an international research team with expertise in the areas of aerodynamic, structural, control, electrical and cost modelling within the wind energy sector. Additionally, environmental and socio-economic impact analysis will be carried out to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the X-Rotor in those areas. Industrial partners are also part of the research consortium.

The research for the two PhD researchers aims to (among other):

PhD 1: Aerodynamic and aeroelastic modelling and design of the X-Rotor: an aero-elastic dynamic model (aerodynamic and structural) catering for the complex geometry of the X-Rotor will be developed with the main aim of assessing the deformations of the blades under unsteady loading and the effect of localised forces due to the small rotors. The model will simulate: 1) the unsteady aerodynamics of the rotor, including the complex blade-vortex interaction and the mode shapes of the X-Rotor configuration; 2) the interaction of the wake with the tip vortices and downwind blade passage.

PhD 2: Experimental evaluation of the performance, Loads and Energy Capture: a full aerodynamic and aeroelastic characterization of a scaled version of the X-Rotor will be carried out in the TU Delft Open Jet Facility (OJF) wind tunnel and the A-Tunnel. Smart solutions for the experimental simulations of the small rotors will be adopted when necessary, including small actuator-disk meshes reproducing the same aerodynamic multi-scale interactions between the vortices shed from the large and small scale rotors. An experimental characterization of the performance of the small rotors with change of angle of attack will be carried out in the TU Delft anechoic A-tunnel. Flow visualisation experiments will be additionally carried to quantitatively investigate the complex dual-rotor wake interactions using the most novel HFSB (Helium Filled Soap Bubbles) particle tracking velocimetry technique developed at TU Delft.

The two PhDs will contribute to the aerodynamic design of the concept in cooperation with the other H2020 X-Rotor partners.


The candidate should have an MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering from a well-established university, or an MSc degree in related engineering disciplines such as applied physics, applied mathematics, or mechanical engineering with a proven experience (courses, projects, work experience) in the field of fluid mechanics. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and a strong interest in applied aerodynamics and aeroelasticity is required. Experience with numerical and/or experimental aerodynamics is preferred. Since an important part of research work is dissemination and collaboration, fluent communication skills, both written and orally, in English are of utmost importance. Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply.


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact Prof.dr. Carlos Ferreira, phone: +31(0)15 27 82073 or e-mail: c.j.simaoferreira@tudelft.nl



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