The effect of non-neutral winds on wind power aerodynamics

This project will assess the performance of a wind turbine farm, and characterise the turbines’ wakes in different atmospheric conditions via a series of wind tunnel experiments.

Start date

1 September 2021


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source


Funding information

£15,285 per year in 2020-21 plus a Research Training and Support budget to cover costs such as conferences, workshops and equipment


Renewable sources provided 29.3% of the electricity generated in the UK in 2017, with offshore wind turbines producing 21% of that, and registering an increased capacity of 27% during the same year. These trends have been confirmed and outperformed in more recent years and are predicted to grow in line with 2030 and 2050 targets as we will progressively depart from fossil fuels. As our society becomes ever-more dependent on wind power, it is increasingly important to gain a deeper understanding and more accurate estimation of wind power availability. This project will focus on the characterisation of wind turbine wakes in different atmospheric conditions, and in particular, at their interaction via a series of wind tunnel experiments in the only stratified wind tunnel in the UK. For further information visit the Centre for Aerodynamics environmental flow facilities page. It is envisaged that several different measurement techniques will be employed in this project.

Related links

Surrey to develop tool to help predict the efficiency of wind farms

This PhD project is strongly linked to UKRI’s Flexible Funding agreement project “VENTI”.

Eligibility criteria

We are seeking candidates with a first-class degree or a good 2:1 in a relevant engineering field (aeronautics, environmental, civil, mechanical) or physical/environmental science (physics, meteorology), with excellent communications skills. Previous experience with experimental work and computer programming would be beneficial.

The studentship is available for UK, EU and overseas students.

IELTS requirements: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

How to apply

All applications to SCENARIO are made via the University of Reading, whether the projects you are interested in are based at Reading, Surrey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Geological Survey or Institute of Zoology.

Choose the PhD projects that interest you most (maximum of 4) and rank your choices in order of interest. Your application is only sent to supervisors for projects where you express an interest, so listing more increases your chances of success. If in doubt, choose 4. There will be limited possibilities to express interest for other projects later in the Admissions process.

Each project description indicates the name and institution of the lead supervisor and has a reference number. You are welcome and encouraged to email the lead supervisors of projects to ask them any questions you may have or to discuss the project.

Main interview day: 10 February 2021

It is likely that our interview day will be an online event but that decision will be made nearer the time based on governmental Coronavirus guidelines.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Marco Placidi (he/him)
01 AB 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 684632

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