Research Assistant in Wind Energy Systems
Carl Von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

At the research group Wind Energy Systems, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Institute of Physics of the University of Oldenburg, there is a vacant PhD position starting as soon as possible for a

Research Assistant (f/m/d)

(Salary according to TV-L E13, 100%)

The research focus will be on

Envelope protection control of wind turbines

In the further exploitation of wind energy, the site-dependent optimisation of the operation of existing wind turbines and the extension of their operating life are becoming increasingly important. Adjustments or the replacement of the control system can play an important role here. Up to now, manufacturer-independent retrofitting of the control system has been practically impossible. An innovative approach to solving this problem is the implementation of an additional system for online monitoring and short-time prediction of relevant quantities, such as loads or rotor blade deflections. If the prediction indicates that the critical loads may be exceeded, the safety system should modify the output on the control system to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Such a protection system, which ensures the wind turbine safety, would make it easier to improve or modify the control system in the field. Beside the upgrading of existing turbines, the approach is promising for the validation of control concepts on experimental turbines and prototypes. In this project, this approach will be systematically researched by simulations, wind tunnel experiments and eventually a test on a real wind turbine.

Job Description

The main goal of the PhD project is the development and validation of a protection system which ensures in real-time the operation of the wind turbine inside a predefined envelope of operational and load parameters.

Among others, the job will comprise:

  • control-oriented modelling of relevant wind turbine loads and dynamics
  • development of methods for loads prediction based on the stochastic description of turbulent inflow
  • development of control methods for envelope protection
  • validation of developed algorithms in aeroelastic simulations and wind tunnel experiments
  • implementation and validation of developed algorithms in field experiments
  • support of the teaching and other general activities of the research group.

The research and experiments will be conducted in close cooperation with other national and international academic and industrial partners.

Furthermore, the candidate will be given opportunities to actively improve personal, scientific and teaching skills.

Candidate Profile

Prerequisite is a qualifying university degree (diploma or master) in engineering, physics or an equivalent course of studies with extensive knowledge in control engineering. Basic expertise in structural dynamics, optimal control and wind turbine dynamics is desired. Hands-on experience with Matlab/Simulink and LabVIEW programming tools, real-time control systems, electrical and mechanical systems, and standard laboratory tools is considered a plus. Further requirements are the aptitude and willingness for pursuing a PhD with an emphasis on experimental research, as well as fluently spoken and written English.

The initial employment is initially limited to a duration of three years with an intention for further prolongation up to a total of four years to facilitate a PhD.

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increase the percentage of female employees in the field of science. Therefore, female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. In accordance to § 21 Section 3 NHG, female candidates with equal qualifications will be preferentially considered. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualification. Full-time positions can be also turned into part-time ones.

Research environment at ForWind - University of Oldenburg

Wind energy research at the University of Oldenburg has gained international recognition by its integration into ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research of the Universities of Oldenburg, Hanover and Bremen and into the national Wind Energy Research Alliance of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) and ForWind. At Oldenburg researchers from the fields of physics, meteorology, oceanography and engineering are collaborating at the »Research Laboratory for Turbulence and Wind Energy Systems« centred on wind physics. Laboratory experiments, free-field measurements and high-fidelity numerical simulations are utilized for the description and modelling of wind turbulence, the analysis of interactions of turbulence and wind energy systems and the design of wind turbine and wind farm control. State-of-the-art facilities include three turbulent wind tunnels, sensing equipment for free-field measurements at on- and offshore wind farms and an own high-performance computing cluster. For control development and validation in the wind tunnel, a fully controllable wind turbine model with various load sensors and an active grid for the reproduction of turbulent inflow is available.


Preferably electronic applications should be referenced #UN57 and must be submitted preferred as one PDF file containing all materials in English or German to be given consideration no later than June 8th, 2020 to

University of Oldenburg
Faculty V, Institute of Physics
ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research

Research Group Wind Energy Systems
Prof. Dr. Martin Kühn
Küpkersweg 70
26129 Oldenburg, Germany

Phone +49 441 798 5061
Email wesys.beweczm3rbungen@fosmmrwinmqd.dejmeb

The pdf file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • References
  • A one-page research statement. The applicants are requested to present a research problem of their interest in control engineering and to propose its investigation. The relation of the topic to the advertised PhD position should be elaborated.

A second PDF file containing the final thesis of the studies or relevant research papers (if available) is an optional attachment.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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