PhD Scholarship Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Tidal Renewable Energy Systems

University of Hull is offering a fully-funded 3 year full-time PhD scholarship for study into the above as follows:

Closing Date:  30 August 2013

Start Date:  30 September 2013  

Informal enquiries:

Informal enquiries by email are welcomed by the PhD project supervisors:

Professor Daniel Parsons

Dr Stuart McLelland

Project outline

Sources of tidal energy in UK coastal waters may have the potential to generate up to 20% of the current UK electricity requirements. There are clear economic advantages of tidal energy systems, not notably their power-flow velocity ratios and the reliability of tidal energy production. However, the deployment and uptake of tidal energy production systems remains painfully slow. Most of this resistance is due to uncertainties in the environmental impacts of such systems in environmentally vulnerable estuarine locations. The marine environment, especially in those areas that are subject to strong tidal currents, is usually subject to complex sediment transport dynamics and the impact of tidal energy systems on these environments is presently poorly understood. The overall aim of the research to be conducted as a part of this studentship is to develop an advanced understanding of these processes in order to predict the consequences of complex interactions between tidal flow, tidal stream turbines and the sea floor sediment bed under a range of environmental conditions.

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The programme of research will involve an integrated programme of laboratory investigations based at The Deep’s Total Environment Simulator ( Scaled models of tidal systems will be deployed and tested under controlled conditions, including combined waves and tidal flow conditions. These laboratory data will be used to assist in the development of novel Numerical Modelling routines which will allow: (i) investigation of the fundamental processes controlling the complex flow-sediment interactions around tidal turbine structures and (ii) to improve practical prediction methods that can be used not only by engineers in full-scale tidal system planning and design but also by regulatory authorities monitoring environmental and ecological consequences of installing tidal energy extraction arrays.

Applicants should be highly motivated and have a minimum Upper Second Class Honours degree in a relevant subject from a recognized Institution.  

Further details

This full-time UK/EU PhD scholarship will include fees at the ‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance of £13,726 (in 2013/14) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull are required to follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate or Diploma in Research Training in addition to their research degree.

How to apply

Visit our website via the ‘Apply’ button below.

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