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Advanced Materials for Wave Energy Converters

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th September 2021
Closes: 31st October 2021

Supervisory Team: Dr Thomas Andritsch, Dr Istebreq Saeedi

Project description

The UK power industry is in the process of transforming from the carbon-intensive technologies of the 20th century into a modern and sustainable energy mix. While renewables such as wind, solar, biomass and hydropower accounted for only 7% of the electricity produced in 2010, these sources have grown to 42% of electricity produced in 2020, for the first time overtaking fossil fuels such as gas (37%) and coal (2%).

The non-dispatchable nature of many renewable sources (i.e. the energy source cannot be easily controlled) still causes some concerns if 100% energy from renewable sources can be reached. One renewable resource which is vast and reliable and could fill this gap has still not been exploited as much as it should: energy from ocean waves. It is estimated that 20% of the world energy production (about 30.000 TWh per year) could be covered by harnessing wave energy. However, current technology to exploit ocean waves is complex, inefficient and expensive.

A new development is a wave energy converter (WEC) based on flexible elastomer tubes, which would remove many complex mechanical elements, thus improving reliability and reducing maintenance cost. In order for this new design to be competitive to wind, solar and hydro, a number of challenges need to be overcome for the materials these tubes are built from. To improve the overall efficiency, new materials need to be developed that can withstand very high voltages, while being flexible and resistant to the harsh environment at sea, which can lead to corrosion, fouling and fatigue.

This PhD is being supported by industry and candidates will take part in an exciting international research collaboration, with partners from different disciplines, cultures and backgrounds. If you love learning and are seeking a new challenge on the forefront of new technologies for a more sustainable future, this might be the right project for you.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Thomas Andritsch, Electrical Power Engineering Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 7557 076486.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree First or 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent; Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, EEE, Mechanical Engineering/Materials, Mechanical Engineering/Mechatronics desirable.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 October 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Elect & Elect Eng (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Thomas Andritsch

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:

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