Digital Twins for Autonomous Operations and Maintenance of Offshore Renewable Devices based on Multi-access Edge Computing

Applications are invited for a 3.5-year MPhil/PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2021.

To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Mechanical Engineering, then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within Offshore Renewable Energy and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Take a look at the Doctoral College's general information on applying for a research degree.

Project description 

In 2019, the UK Government set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050 as part of its climate change action. In order to achieve this, renewable energy technologies must make up a greater portion of the UK's energy mix. The UK government has pledged to increase offshore wind farms to meet the clean energy demand. Operation and maintenance (O and M) of these farms remain a challenge due to the harsh environment that they operate in. It is estimated that O and M activities make up almost a quarter of the lifetime costs of an offshore wind project. Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can enable simulation of the ORE devices by optimizing the turbine performance and reducing the O & M costs over the life of the turbine. Further, real time Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) offers real-time distributed computing extending the cloud to the edge of the network, hence, filtering data and reducing the cost and network latency.  

The aim of this proposal is to develop Digital Twins for rapid, secure and cost effective virtualisation of the ORE devices taking advantages of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) networks and hence develop a MEC-based Ocean Network platform for O & M of ORE devices.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering/Robotics/Software Engineering/Computer Science and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification. 

The studentship is supported for three and a half years and includes full home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 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 £12,697 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at the University of Plymouth and to apply for this position please visit:

Please mark it FAO Doctoral College and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics.

For more information on the admissions process email the Doctoral College,

The closing date for applications is 19 April 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview the week beginning 3 May 2021. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 31 May should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.