Education

Researcher training constitutes a significant part of NorthWind’s activities. We are expecting 27 PhD grants to be funded by the Centre, including 10 in-kind grants by NTNU and UiO. Of these 27, 11 have already started.

In addition, there will be an effort as part of NorthWind to have more bachelor and master students at NTNU and UiO specialising in wind
energy (target of 200 MSc/BSc). This represents a unique recruitment base for the industry partners. Researcher training will be provided by NTNU and UiO, in cooperation with associate research partners.

Joint PhD Programme in Offshore Wind Energy

Through the NOWRIC collaboration, NTNU, SINTEF and DTU established a Joint PhD Programme in Offshore
Wind Energy to enable collaboration through co-supervision and one-year exchange of at least 4 PhD-students. NTNU and DTU also have a Joint Nordic Master’s degree programme on Innovative Sustainable Energy Engineering with a study track ‘System Integration of Wind Power’.

NorthWind Winter School

An annual meeting place where young researchers from all over the world can hear new ideas, methods and theories within the wind energy field. It will be organised in connection with the EERA DeepWind conference and will consist of a series of lectures on a selected topic given by international experts with time for the exchange of ideas and networking.

Collaboration

An individual research plan will be developed for each PhD candidate based on the Centre’s research needs. Collaboration groups between PhD students, supervisors, SINTEF researchers and relevant industry partners will maximise synergy and integration at task level. Research will address scientific and technical knowledge gaps to achieve the Centre’s goals. PhD students and their supervisors will present their research at leading international conferences and annual NorthWind meetings and seminars.

International Academic Networks

The Centre will facilitate and fund PhDs to stay abroad with collaborating universities. Industry partners will
provide short-term internship positions for innovation case studies. International exchange of research
personnel with academic networks and internship arrangements with the Centre’s industry partners will
contribute to knowledge exchange between the academic communities and the industry.

Meet our PhD candidates

Julian Lahuerta

Julian Lahuerta

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: Norwegian

Supervisor: Prof. Asbjørn Karlsen (NTNU)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: Harnessing Norwegian maritime industrial capabilities in the emerging US offshore wind industry

My research project examines how Norwegian offshore wind firms adapt to the particularities of the U.S. federalist institutional system, whether Norwegian firm strategies and stakeholder engagement differs depending on the locality in question, and what the implications are for Norwegian regional development. This project will focus on two Norwegian led projects in the U.S., the Empire Wind project led by Equinor in New York State, which utilizes fixed-bottom technology, and the more distant project led by Aker Solutions off the coast of California, which utilizes floating technology. Both cases will employ a mixed-method qualitative framework that draw on primary data compiled from semi-structured interviews, policy documents and newspaper articles, in addition to secondary data compiled from document analysis and databases. Theoretically, this project contributes to recent discussions within economic geography and transition studies that highlight the variegated nature of national institutions and the importance of exogenous factors in regional industrial development.

Florian Stadtmann

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: German

Supervisor: Prof. Adil Rasheed (NTNU), Prof. Trond Kvamsdal (NTNU), Prof. Omer San (OSU), Kjetil André Johannessen (SINTEF)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: Enabling Technologies for Digital Twins

A digital twin can be explained as a virtual representation of a physical asset, which describes the current – and in some cases the future – state and behaviour of the physical asset. During my project I will review the current progress of digital twins in research and industry with focus on technologies required to enable digital twins in the context of wind power. Based on the outcome, I will continue my work in data compression, simulation, visualization, and/or autonomous control, combining domain knowledge and machine learning techniques in a hybrid analysis and modelling approach for increased speed, accuracy, reliability, and explainability of digital twins.
Veronica Liverud Krathe

Veronica Liverud Krathe

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: Norwegian

Supervisor: Prof. Erin Bachynski-Polić (NTNU), Prof. Amir R. Nejad (NTNU)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: Multiscale/-fidelity wind turbine dynamics models for structural design and control

In my thesis I will investigate multiscale dynamic analysis of offshore wind turbines, with the overall objective of reducing downtime and cost, increasing the competitiveness of offshore wind. This means combining effects on farm level and single turbines and investigate the impacts of these on the drivetrain. Today’s aero-hydro-servo-elastic analysis tools simplify the drivetrain model (requiring decoupled analysis), neglect hydroelastic responses of the hull, and account for wake effects through conservative wind field models. Especially, there are some effects for larger, more flexible substructures that can be important. I will start by looking into shortcomings in state-of-the-art methods with respect to multi-fidelity modelling, and possible improvements that can be implemented in current design tools. Subsequently, key objectives are to enable more optimal control, more efficient substructure design and more efficient park layout design.

Pankaj Ravindra Gode

Pankaj Ravindra Gode

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: Indian

Supervisor: Prof. Arild Aspelund (NTNU), Ass. Prof. Øyvind Bjørgum (NTNU)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: Circular Business Development of Offshore Wind Energy

My research is focused on the integration of circular economy (CE) with the offshore wind energy industry (OWE). Throughout the period of my research, I will be looking at different circular business models, product design strategies and CE frameworks that are compatible with the OWE industry. The initial aim of this research is to contribute its share to the development of circular practices to decommission the near end-of-life offshore wind farms in an environmental-friendly way, using the best possible waste management strategies to minimize the generated waste. However, the key focus of this research is about developing circular business models, product design strategies and CE frameworks that will allow to better design future offshore wind farms and extend their designated lifespan.

Afolarinwa David Oyegbile

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: Nigerian

Supervisor: Prof. Michael Muskulus (NTNU), Prof. Gudmund Eiksund (NTNU), Senior Researcher Anand Natarajan (DTU), Dr. Amy Robertson (NREL)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: Reliability- and data-based structural design under industrial constraints

In my project, I will look to learn from existing industrial experiences and develop a holistic framework for structural design optimization of wind turbine support structures with the aim of achieving cost effective support structures. The design process involves uncertainties in the assumptions, models and results obtained. Considering such uncertainties generally requires the use of probabilistic mathematical models that severely complicate the design optimization problem that needs to be solved. My research will consider relevant design drivers (e.g. fatigue loads and soil conditions) as well as practical issues such as installation complexity and fabrication constraints while leveraging on recent developments in gradient-based design optimization methods to address these uncertainties.

Birgitte Nygaard

Birgitte Nygaard

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: Danish

Supervisor: Prof. Tomas Moe Skjølsvold (NTNU), Ass. Prof. Robert Næss (NTNU)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: The framing of Norwegian Wind Energy futures – the cases of Svalbard and Sørlige Nordsjø II

In my project, I am to examine how wind energy is framed in Norway, which directions for development are envisioned, and which role(s) wind will play in Norwegian energy futures. I will focus on two cases – land-based wind power in Svalbard and the opening of the area Sørlige Nordsjø II for offshore wind power. The cases will be studied using a mix of qualitative methods such as interviews with various stakeholders, observations, debates in public media, and analysis of policy documents. As part of my research, I am to study territorialisation of wind power, justice aspects related to competing storylines and perceptions of burdens and benefits, as wells as how this shapes and is shaped by Norwegian identity as an energy nation.

Torfinn Ottesen

Torfinn Ottesen

Affiliation: NTNU, SINTEF Ocean

Nationality: Norwegian

Supervisor: Prof. Svein Sævik (NTNU), Prof. Zhen Gao (NTNU), Senior Research Scientist Janne Gjøsteen (SINTEF Ocean)

Period: 2021-2025

Thesis: An approach for safe and cost-effective installation of offshore wind power cables

The power cable is an essential part of any wind turbine since the produced energy cannot be delivered without the power cable. To assure power cable functionality, the mechanical integrity of the power cable system must be assured in all phases – from cable manufacturing, through the offshore installation operation and during the operational life of the wind turbine plant. Strang-Moran (2020, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult) has reviewed causes of cable failures in the UK offshore wind industry. She reports that nearly half (46%) of cable failures are caused by installation errors. The rest is due to manufacturing issues (31%), inadequate cable design (15%) and mechanical damage after installation (8%). In my project I will improve the simulation models for predicting cable load during installation. Also, safe limits for combined tension, torsion and bending loads are studied. This may help reduce the number of cable failures caused during installation.

Wanwan Zhang

Wanwan Zhang

Affiliation: NTNU

Nationality: Chinese

Supervisor: Prof. Jørn Vatn (NTNU), Prof. Adil Rasheed (NTNU)

Period: 2021-2024

Thesis: Predictive Maintenance and Decision Support for Asset Management 

This project is aimed at the predictive maintenance of offshore wind turbines. Predictive maintenance is a regime for optimal and timely maintenance. It predicts exactly when the system will fail and when to maintain it before the failure actually happens. Remaining useful lifetime (RUL) predictions based on sensor measurements will be the basis for research. Statistical reliability data interfaced with predictions for weather windows, operation planning and logistic resources will give support for decision making in maintenance scheduling. My research will focus on developing the hybrid model integrating machine learning methods, mathematical models, and physical-based models to predict and optimize the maintenance of offshore wind turbines. 

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