PhD: Performance Modelling of Airborne Wind Energy Systems

Kite aerodynamics, Kitepower

15 dagen geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2840 per maand


The PhD researcher will investigate the performance of airborne wind energy systems, with a particular focus on the Kitepower™ system and scaled-up derivatives, and will explore the potential of further power augmentation by systematic optimisation of operational parameters as well as system-level and component-level designs. The tool base to be used includes a quasi-steady model for pumping cycle operation of the kite, as well as a dynamic model in which the kite and the tether are discretised as a particle system. He/she will use time-resolved measurement data of parallel test campaigns (apparent wind velocity at the kite, position, orientation, time derivatives, tether force, etc.) to validate and further improve the models and the safety and reliability of the systems. Kite aerodynamics will be a central topic and an interface to other research activities of the team. Sensor fusion and state estimation could be explored if the quality of the available measurement data is insufficient. 
The PhD research will be performed in the frame of the EU Horizon 2020 "Fast Track to Innovation" project REACH which aims at the development of the 100 kW Kitepower™ system. Next to the research group and the startup company, which is the system integrator, the REACH consortium includes the companies Dromec BV (Netherlands / ground station), Genetrix (France / kite) and Maxon Motor GmbH (Germany / kite control unit). As part of the project the system will undergo endurance testing at the test site, the former naval airbase Valkenburg.The PhD researcher will work closely together with the REACH project team and with his/her fellow PhD researchers in the AWESCO doctoral training network.


Applicants should have an MSc degree in engineering (aerospace/mechanical) or applied physics. Also required is a combination of good mathematical/analytical skills, solid programming skills (Python), a very good command of English (working language) and an interest in performing experimental research. An active involvement in the development, operation, and testing of the demonstrator platform is desired, as well as a good team spirit and the ability to function in a multidisciplinary group.    


The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

For more information, please contact R. Schmehl, phone:+31 (0)15-2785318, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, publication list, references and a letter of application by 13 August 2017 to Sylvia Willems,
When applying, please refer to vacancy number LR17-26.
If your MSc diploma and transcript are not in Dutch, English, French or German and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.
Link to more information:
EU project website (
Project's own website (
Startup company website (
Technology test center (
Springer book chapter about the technology (
Journal paper (submitted) about the quasi-steady flight model (
Journal paper about the dynamic system model (

Additional information

R. Schmehl
+31 (0)15-2785318

Technische Universiteit Delft


Delft University of Technology (the TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. The TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At the TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. The TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools. Aerospace Engineering The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy, Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems, and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large, offshore installations and new technologies such as Airborne Wind Energy are the research objective in the Wind Energy section. The department operates laboratories equipped with modern wind tunnels and diagnostic systems as well as a computer cluster for numerical simulations of complex aerodynamic and physical problems.

The Wind Energy section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education. Research activities range from urban wind power up to large, multi-megawatt offshore wind farms and cover both technology development and fundamental aspects. The section comprises the Kitepower research group, which has a leading international role in the emerging field of Airborne Wind Energy. It further hosts a startup company (Enevate BV) which is developing a 100 kW pumping Kitepower™ system. Courses at the BSc and MSc levels are offered to students of Aerospace Engineering, Sustainable Engineering Technology (SET) and the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM).     


Middels onderstaande knop kun je direct solliciteren op deze vacature.

Reageer op deze vacature