3 PhD Fellowships in Geotechnical Engineering

Scholarship Title: Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology Department of Civil and Transport Engineering

PhD fellowships in Geotechnical Engineering

Scholarship Details:

The Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) invites applicants for three Ph.D. fellowships within geotechnical engineering applied to foundation of offshore wind turbines. The positions are a part of a joint academia-industrial initiative in the field Renewable Energy at the faculty. The research initiative is supported financially by Statoil, DNVand Norconsult. The Ph.D. candidates will together with a postdoc and a professor form a research group with special focus on foundation of offshore wind turbines. The research will be part of a multidisciplinary effort within marine technology, hydrodynamics, structural engineering and material science and will be carried out in close cooperation with industry and the Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research, Nowitech. (http://www.sintef.no/projectweb/nowitech/).

Research topics for the Ph.D. fellowships are:

Ph.D. 1: Numerical modelling of soil-wind turbine interaction
An important design criterion for offshore wind turbines is to ensure that the eigenfrequencies are sufficiently far from the main excitation frequencies. The stiffness of the foundation gives an important contribution to the global stiffness and the eigenfrequency. The aim for this study will be to improve the calculation methods for stiffness and damping of the foundation-soil interaction. The study will include finite element modelling, development of constitutive models for practical application to wind energy foundations and modelling of stiffness and damping applicable for fatigue life evaluations. Low strain stiffness of the soil will be addressed in particular. The study may also include accumulation of plastic strains during cyclic loading.

Ph.D. 2: Revision of the p-y curves to improve their applicability to monopile foundations
The p-y curves defined in current design standards (API, DNV) are based on field tests on more flexible and smaller diameter piles than the typical monopiles for wind turbine foundations. Applying the conventional p-y curves may result in over conservative foundation design. The main focus of this study will be to evaluate and improve the current p-y curves based on back calculation of instrumented full scale wind turbine foundations. The study may also include model tests on piles with length- diameter-stiffness ratios representative for typical monopile foundations. In addition the study may include the effect of scour on stiffness and capacity of wind turbine foundation.

Ph.D. 3: Risk and reliability in geotechnical engineering

The current design practice for offshore wind turbine foundation relies heavily on experiences gained from Oil & Gas industry, leading to a prominent problem of over-design. One challenge for the wind industry is therefore to reduce cost but maintain an acceptable reliability margin. This particular project aims at developing a rational and systematic approach to deal with soil variability using statistical methods which can be applied to foundations of offshore wind turbines. The study includes soil data evaluation to identify soil properties and aspects of soil variability that affect the performance of offshore wind turbine foundations. The study also involves developing probabilistic models that encompass important soil variability. The probabilistic models may further be integrated into design using, for instance, the First Order Reliability Method or Monte-Carlo simulation.

Candidate Background:

Candidate with background and interest in engineering mathematics, statistics and/or numerical methods in geotechnical engineering (i.e. implementation and using numerical models) are strongly encouraged to apply. The research direction may be modified according to the qualification and interest of the applicants.

The research topics may be modified according to the qualification and interest of the applicants.

Further Details:

For further information please contact Dr Thi Minh Hue Le (thi.le@ntnu.no) or Professor Gudmund Eiksund, Department of Engineering Science and Technology, NTNU, Norway (tel + 47 73 59 45 90, http://www.ntnu.edu/bat/geotechnics)

Ph.D. fellowships are awarded for a total of 3 years.

Applicants should hold a master’s degree within geotechnical engineering or equivalent and must be qualified for admittance to Ph.D. study at NTNU.

Salaries:

Ph.D. fellows are remunerated in the salary level 48-56 on the Norwegian State salary scale, gross NOK 391 100 to NOK 448 100 per year (before tax). Ph.D. students with limited or no work experience after graduation are normally remunerated at level 48. A pension contribution to The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (Statens pensjonskasse) of 2 % of gross salary will be deducted.

The appointment of the Ph.D. fellow will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges. Applicants are obliged to engage on an organized Ph.D. training program, and appointment requires approval of the applicant’s plan for a Ph.D. study.

The position adheres to the Norwegian Government’s policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. Persons with immigrant background are encouraged to apply. NTNU’s objective is to increase the number of females in scientific positions. Female applicants are therefore encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline:
Application deadline is 9 March 2012. Applications received after the deadline might still be considered.

How to Apply:

Applications with CV, certificates, copy of relevant transcripts and diplomas, as well as a brief outline of possible research topics (preferably combined in a single file) should be submitted electronically via http://www.jobbnorge.no/job.aspx?jobid=80896&reset=1&p=1, marked with ref.no. IVT-21/12 and the number of the position.

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