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PhD Scholarships at the EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

University of Hull - on behalf of Aura CDT partners


The EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment invites high-quality applications for 4-year taught and research PhD scholarships. 12 fully funded positions are available starting 16th September 2019.

We’re looking for the world’s brightest minds to join us in developing cutting edge research and solutions to the environmental and engineering challenges facing the offshore wind industry. The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, providing over 10% of the UK’s electricity and growing at an unprecedented rate. The new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal predicts that by 2030, the industry will provide a third of British electricity and triple its workforce. The Sector Deal will see industry invest £250 million, including a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, driving global exports which are set to increase fivefold to £2.6 billion by 2030.

The Aura CDT is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull with partner universities Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield. It integrates the core strengths of each institution in environment, engineering and energy and will also work closely with over 20 international industry partners. Students will have both an academic supervisor and an industry link, giving access to world-leading research and development facilities in both environments.

Your research could make a real impact to the exciting challenges in the offshore wind industry. We are seeking high quality, innovative people whose backgrounds, experience and identity broadens and enhances the diversity of our existing team. You will initially study in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary, and the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. In subsequent years, candidates may be based at one of the partner universities of Hull, Durham, Newcastle or Sheffield and get real sector experience with the industry partners mapped to your chosen area of research. The broad research areas identified are:

• Big marine data and metocean

Biological activity; marine & offshore wind personnel traffic; metocean forecasting; seafloor mapping; smart seabed sensor networks.

• Environmental interactions, seabed dynamics and benthic habitat

Acoustic impact on marine life; cable risks; extreme events; monopile decommissioning; natural hazards; seafloor structure.

• Logistics, safety, risk and human factors

Workload analysis in operations & maintenance and construction; remote safety training for technicians; control and mitigation of fatigue under shift systems; comparison of logistics for fixed vs floating OSW.

• Low carbon transitions and community benefits

Offshore wind and smart grid development; societal impact of offshore wind; economics of offshore wind developments; aquaculture in windfarm zones.

• Next generation materials and manufacturing

Assistive assembly and manufacture; blade design and manufacture; bulk additive component production; reconfigurable manufacturing; self-healing surface coatings.

• Operations and remote autonomous monitoring

Blade structural health; floating turbines control; hydrophone systems for marine mammals; internal turbine inspection; position monitoring with GNSS.

For further details about potential Aura CDT projects contact or for an informal discussion, call +44(0)1482 463331.

Entry requirements:

If you have received either, a first class honours degree, or a 2:1 honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in any of the following, or associated subjects, we would like to hear from you. For overseas students we also require an IELTS score of 7.0 with no element below 6.0.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science            
  • Earth Science
  • Engineering
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

The partners are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; applications are welcome from students from diverse backgrounds (part-time study available).

The scholarships are available for EU and UK nationals who satisfy the residency rules of the EPSRC. Applications are welcome from exceptional self-funded candidates from overseas.

Contact us:

For more information about the Aura CDT, eligibility and how to apply, please visit email or call +44(0)1482 463331.

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Durham, Hull, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and annual living allowance, for four years (£15,009 in 2019/20)
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 12th March 2019
Closes: 29th April 2019
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