Research Associate or Senior Research Associate in Wind Turbine Blade Structures

United Kingdom
£33,797 - £42,792
Nov 19, 2020
Dec 19, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
What will I be doing?

The role

The Wind Blade Research Hub is a 5-year (2017-2022) collaboration between the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the Bristol Composites Institute. Its mission is to advance composites materials usage in wind turbine blades encompassing three mains technical strands: composite materials development; composites manufacturing and structural mechanics and design. There is a strong impetus for larger blades which lowers cost of energy. So far, the WBRH has developed blade designs for a 20MW rotor with plans for larger blades.

An exciting Post-Doctoral research position is available to conduct research on novel structural design methods for wind turbine blades. This full-time post will be funded till 4th June 2022 and will be based in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol. The successful candidate will join the Bristol Composite Institutes (ACCIS) and its research team dedicated to wind turbine structures, the Wind Blade Research Hub, a partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Other flagship activities in the field include the partnership with Vestas Wind Systems A/S, a world-leading provider of wind power and services.

This project will pursue the development of a new, computationally-efficient structural analysis framework for wind turbine blades, capable of seamlessly transitioning across fidelity levels. The framework will augment the quality and quantity of data available across design stages. Revealing new physics earlier in the design process will lead to more accurate estimations/identification of driving design factors.

In this role you will:
  • Carry out fundamental research on aspects of structural mechanics modelling of wind turbine blade structures within the Wind Blade Research Hub (WBRH), a collaboration between UoB and ORE Catapult, and also within the Bristol Composites Institute
  • Have responsibility for the advancement of computational structural mechanics methods exploiting composite material properties as applied to wind turbine blades. There is also opportunity to provide day-to-day supervision to summer intern students and provide direction and mentorship for PhD students.
  • The role also requires Group representation at international meetings, liaison with WBRH team including fellow researchers and representatives of ORE Catapult. You should have, or expect to receive, a PhD in materials science, mechanical or aerospace engineering, with an emphasis on stress analysis, computational structural mechanics, structural stability and fibre-reinforced polymer-based composite materials.
  • Essential experience will include expertise in finite element methods. Knowledge of wind turbine blade structures and of the material systems as used in wind blades would be an advantage.
  • As this role is a Pathway 2 (Research) role, there are no formally-specified teaching duties required of the role-holder. However, other commitments permitting, the role-holder may be given development opportunities to undertake activities such as teaching on Master's and Doctoral programmes and/or supervising Master's dissertations within the School of School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, as appropriate.

You should apply if

  • You have a PhD (or have submitted) in the fields of finite element methods, stress analysis, structural stability, computational methods and structural mechanics and a first degree in an Engineering based discipline.
  • You possess a good knowledge and experience of composite materials and structures.
  • You have excellent communication skills and can clearly articulate verbally and in writing.
  • You are someone who has the ability to work independently but also as part of a team.
  • You are enthusiastic and have a flexible outlook. Desirable
  • You have knowledge of wind turbine blades, including their constituent materials and their design.
  • You have research beyond PhD level.
  • You have experience in or engagement with industry.
  • You have experience of presenting research findings at conferences and authoring research papers for high-impact academic journals

To find out more about what it's like to work in the Faculty of Engineering, and how the Faculty supports people to achieve their potential, please see our staff blog:

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs