Phd Aerodynamic Study of The Onshore Vertical Axis Wind Turbine and Wind Farm

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD position in mechanical engineering at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.

The faculty’s mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.

The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large offshore farms, are the objective of the research of the Wind Energy Section. The department operates comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems.

The Wind Energy Section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education.

In its research activities there is a focus on large multi megawatt offshore wind turbines and offshore wind farms, though urban and airborne wind power is also addressed. Both technology development aspects as well as fundamental aspects are present in the research program. With respect to educational courses, the BSc and MSc level are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM) students.

Wind turbines as a renewable energy source have always been part of public debate. While relatively cheap, NIMBY (not in my backyard) effects are on the lure. Vertical Axis Wind Turbines are a possible design solution for mid-scale (100kW-1MW) for environments in close proximity to people.

Quieter and mode visually appealing, VAWTs are however challenging to understand and design, due to the 3D unsteady aerodynamics.

The objective of this PhD is to study the aerodynamics of VAWTs in a theoretical, numerical and experimental approach, as part of a national project in cooperation with industry and other research institutes to develop a commercial VAWT. The research also includes the test and analysis of a full scale prototype, bringing the research from TRL 1 to TRL 6.

1-Design and analysis of the turbine aerodynamics will be performed to predict turbine efficiency and general performance for a given wind condition. The three dimensional geometry of the turbine will be modelled in order to estimate performance effects, including the rotor, struts, and connections. Aerodynamic blade and thrust loads will be predicted using a multi-fidelity modelling approach. An experimental study of the designed rotor geometry will be performed in a controlled wind tunnel to validate the predicted aerodynamic loading.

2-To test a scaled version of the VAWT in wind tunnel controlled conditions at TUDelft's Open Jet facility. To evaluate models and design in controlled conditions. To use the results of the test in controlled conditions to complete and interpret the data set from the open field measurements, including aeroelastic scaling.

3-To evaluate the performance the turbine in a wind farm, including multiple VAWT rotors and mixed multi-MW HAWTS and VAWT rotors. To develop, test and validate the wake models and HAWT-VAWT wind farm model and design tools for optimizing the layout and power production. To test the VAWT model in controlled wind tunnel conditions, including performance, wake evolution and interaction between multiple rotors.

The PhD candidate will be part of a team with other PhD students working on VAWT and HAWT aerodynamics.

The PhD candidate will be part of an international team in both the University and in the project team which sponsors the project. You will be working in an international consortium, which means that good proficiency in the English language (spoken and written) is required. Furthermore, the position requires an MSc in Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics or a comparable degree, thorough knowledge of aerodynamics, as well as excellent programming (C++, Python, ) and mathematical skills. Preferably you also already have experience in writing scientific reports and papers.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Carlos Simao Ferreira, Associate professor, email, tel: +31 15 27 82073.

To apply, please send an application letter by e-mail, a curriculum vitae, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees, copies of BSc and MSc diplomas, proof of language skills if applicable, and the names of two references to Ms. S.M. Willems at

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number LR18.28.


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