Wake modelling of offshore wind turbines in non-neutral atmosphere

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 October 2022
3 years
Application deadline
Funding source
Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, University of Surrey
Funding information

UK or international fees are covered. Annual stipend at standard UKRI rate (£16,062 p.a. for 2022/23).


The inevitability of climate change1 and net-zero policies across the globe are urgently promoting the need for renewable energies – wind energy is so far the most cost-effective – hence, its production will have to increase drastically in the next decade2. As of June 2018, offshore wind powers more than half a million UK homes, and by 2030, the country pledges to generate “40 GW from offshore wind– enough to power every home in the UK3. As our society becomes ever-more dependent on wind power, it is increasingly important to gain a deeper understanding and more accurate predictability of wind power availability to guarantee a greener future. The aim of the project is to develop a more encompassing wake engineering model that accounts for the effect of different atmospheric states on the wake flows. You will focus on the characterisation of wind turbines performance and wakes interaction in different atmospheric conditions through a series of wind tunnel experiments in the EnFlo facility at Surrey.

This PhD project is strongly linked to EPSRC bid WAKEMOD soon to be submitted.

A later start date of October 2022 is also possible.


[1]Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis. Intergov. Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). UN

[2] Offshore Wind Section Deal (2019). Department for Business, Energy Industrial Strategy.        

[3] Energy white paper: Powering our net zero future (2020). Dep. for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Related links
Efficiency of wind farm predictor tool

Eligibility criteria

We are seeking UK or international 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.

If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Aerodynamic and Environmental Flow PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.


Aerodynamic and Environmental Flow PhD

Application deadline

Contact details

Marco Placidi (He/Him)
01 AB 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 684632
E-mail: m.placidi@surrey.ac.uk
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