The Chair of Structural Mechanics at the Institute of Structural Engineering invites applications for a PhD positions on the topic of “Smart Monitoring, Inspection and Life-Cycle Assessment of Wind Turbines”. The positions are to be funded within the context of the ERC Starting Grant award ERC-2015-StG #679843 titled WINDMIL.
ETH Zurich carries out fundamental research to broaden the knowledge base and provide the starting point for future innovative applications. The research is focused on the needs of society – be that at local, national or global level – and so makes a valuable contribution to the economy, politics and society in general.
The excessive energy consumption
that Europe is faced with, calls for sustainable resource management and policymaking. Amongst renewable sources of the global energy pool, wind energy holds the lead. Nonetheless, wind turbine (WT) facilities are conjoined with a number of shortcomings relating to their short life-span and the lack of efficient management schemes. With a number of WTs currently reaching their design span, stakeholders and policy makers are convinced of the necessity for reliable life-cycle assessment methodologies. This proposal aims to establish a smart framework for the monitoring, inspection and life-cycle assessment of WTs, able to guide WT operators in the manage
ment of these assets from cradle-to-grave. This project is founded on a minimal intervention principle, coupling easily deployed and affordable sensor technology with state-of-the-art numerical modeling and data processing tools.
An integrated approach is proposed comprising:
(i) a new monitoring paradigm for WTs relying on fusion of structural response information,
(ii) simulation of influential, yet little explored, factors affecting structural response, such as structure-foundation-soil interaction and fatigue
For doctoral position: The PhD should have good basic knowledge in vibration theory, good background in statistics and probability theory; familiarity with FE software (ABAQUS, ANSYS, etc.); good MATLAB programming skills. The possible start date is April 1st 2016.