Design wave approaches for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022 or 1 January 2023


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Civil Engineering (and select the entry point of October 2022 or January 2023), then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Before applying, please ensure you have read the Doctoral College’s general information on applying for a research degree.

For more information on the admissions process please contact

Director of Studies: Professor Deborah Greaves  
2nd Supervisor: Dr Martyn Hann
3rd Supervisor: Dr Scott Brown
4th Supervisor: Dr Robert Rawlinson-Smith
Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022 or 1 January 2023.
Project description
Development of offshore renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s Net Zero and Energy Security strategies with ambitious targets of 50GW offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW floating offshore wind (FOW), and 100- 140GW by 2050. However, the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of floating offshore wind is still high compared with fixed foundation offshore wind. Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are exposed to harsh and complex conditions in the marine environment and it is important that at the design stage, potential extreme environmental loads on FOWTs under storms, are clearly identified and quantified.
Determining survivability and reliability of FOWTs is crucial before deployment into the ocean. Developing probabilistic design approaches for FOWTs allows us to understand, model and validate for ‘worst-case scenarios.’ These methods have been developed for waves, called ‘design waves,’ but need to be updated for FOWTs to include aerodynamic effects on floating platforms and bending effects from the tower and turbine. The successful candidate will work within a team of researchers developing the hybrid modelling system for FOWTs in the COAST Lab wave basin. The project will take a probabilistic design approach to assess the conditions leading to critical design cases using the hybrid modelling system with development to include: turbulent wind effects for better representation of real conditions; influence of wave / wind misalignment; most likely extreme bending moments to develop further the response-based design wave methodology. Application of the short design wave approach for FOWT testing in complex non-aligned wind and wave conditions will reduce uncertainty in design, fatigue assessment and in numerical model validation.
Supported by an industry partner, the aim of this PhD studentship is to develop and validate using small scale wind tunnel experiments high and mid-fidelity coupled aero-hydro-CFD tools for modelling FOWT.
Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant masters qualification.
Subject to final budget approval, the studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £16,062.00 per annum (2022/23 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover international fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,670 per annum).
NB: The studentship is supported for three years of the four-year registration period. The fourth year is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year.
If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Professor Deborah Greaves  
Please see a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.
For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 29 August 2022. 
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview shortly after the deadline. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.