Research Studentship in Wind Farm Modelling

3.5-year D.Phil studentship, available from E.ON and The University of Oxford

Research Area

This studentship is a collaboration between the University of Oxford (Department of Engineering Science) and E.ON (Climate and Renewables). The academic supervisors are Prof. Willden and Dr. Vogel, and the industrial supervisor is Dr. Gunn.

The objective of the project is to reduce the cost of future large wind farms through the development of new wind farm flow interaction models. Engineering models are used to optimise the layout of wind farms, estimate loads on wind turbines, and investigate farm-wide control strategies. Current models, that were developed for smaller wind farms and less significant turbine interactions, are reliant on empirical turbine representations and overly simplified wake interaction models, that have been shown to be prone to error in even simple turbine interactional cases. Errors in such models can have a large impact on the Levelised Cost of Energy of a wind farm. Working with the E.ON renewables team the project will seek to develop a new type of wind turbine interaction model that is based on more complex flow interaction physics that will be simulated through blade resolved and reduced order CFD methods. The improved interactional physics will be used to build a new Lagrangian transport wind farm interaction model.

The successful applicant will be a member of the Environmental Fluid Mechanics group and will work as part of a team of fluid dynamicists with diverse interests spanning renewable energy and offshore fluid mechanics. Further information on the group can be found at

Award Value

The studentship covers University and College fees at the level set for UK/EU students, plus a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £17,000 p.a.


This studentship is available to Home qualified students only.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physics, or a related field,
  • Strong understanding of fluid dynamics,
  • Ability to undertake scientific programming in Matlab, Python, Fortran, C/C++, etc,
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience in computational fluid dynamics

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to

  • Detailed CV
  • Covering letter explaining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the doctorate, and your research/industry experience to date
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees

NOTE: Candidates are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria available at and a full graduate application must be made at the same time as applying for this studentship. Your studentship application will not be considered until you have submitted a graduate application. Further details about making a graduate application are available at

Please quote 19ENGCI_RWCV in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Richard Willden ( Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

Application deadline

25 January 2019, noon

Start date

October 2019