Position Opening: Impact Assessment and Damage Modelling of Wind Turbine Blades

Graduate Research Assistantship for a PhD Student in

Impact Assessment and Damage Modelling of Wind Turbine Blades

Dr. Amrit Verma, Assistant Professor of Mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, Orono, is seeking a motivated PhD student to work in the field of wind turbine blades.

Wind turbine blades are composite structures and are exposed to numerous impact risks throughout their lifetimes. Common scenarios include impact with raindrops, hail, and bird during operations, as well as collision with surrounding structures during transportation and installation. Impact loads on the fibre composite blades can induce several complex, simultaneously interacting and visually undetectable damage modes and have a high potential to reduce the local and global blade stiffness. An assessment of such impact-induced damage is therefore necessary to develop new generation damage-tolerant wind turbine blades. Currently, there are very few studies in the literature that deals with impact assessment and damage modelling of wind turbine blades, and they involve computationally demanding numerical procedures. In addition, there are limited recommendations available that describe an efficient way to perform such experiments.

The aim of this PhD position is to develop cost-effective numerical models and experimental procedures for damage assessment of wind turbine blades subjected to impact loads. The case studies in the thesis will involve loads arising from both soft body impact and hard body impact and investigations is expected to be performed at different length scales: coupon, component, and full-scale blade length.

The PhD position has an immediate start date and will be financially supported. For details about the position, please contact Dr Amrit Verma (amrit.verma@maine.edu).

Required Qualifications

  • Background in the field of structural analysis of wind turbine blades, composite structures, impact mechanics, finite element analysis or thesis in a closely related field
  • Demonstrated research and academic excellence
  • Good experience with computing languages such as Python or MATLAB and software such as Abaqus, LS-DYNA or ANSYS
  • Hard-working, self-motivated and independent

To apply, please send to Dr Amrit Verma (amrit.verma@maine.edu) (as one PDF file): 1) One-page cover letter addressing the motivation for the position, 2) Curriculum vitae and sample publications, 3) Unofficial transcripts (undergraduate and MS), and 4) GRE scores (if available).