PhD: Add-ons for Wind Turbine Blades

Department/faculty: Aerospace Engineering
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Aerospace Engineering

The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.
The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.

The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems, and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large offshore farms, are the objective of the research of Wind Energy. The department operates comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems.

The Wind Energy section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education. In its research activities there is a focus on large, multimegawatt offshore wind turbines and offshore wind farms, although urban wind power is also addressed. Both technology development aspects as well as fundamental aspects are present in the research programme. With respect to education, dedicated courses on the BSc and the MSc level are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Master (EWEM) students.

Job description

The potential to increase the aerodynamic performance of wind turbine blades for site-specific wind conditions is large. However, a high-fidelity approach is still lacking to design specialised adds-on and analyse their effect on wind turbine performance. The main purpose of this project is to prove that a combination of adds-ons can significantly contribute to the efficiency of wind turbines.

The PhD candidate will focus on CFD simulations of the effects of adds-on on the performance of wind turbines. Comparisons will be made with on-site experiments conducted by the company 2B Energy. The PhD thesis will lead to recommendations regarding the optimal design and position of the adds-ons on the blades. It will also contribute to a better understanding of the flow physics and fluid-structure interactions. Experiments in the TU Delft wind tunnel will also be performed with the support of other researchers.

The work can start as soon as possible.


The candidate should have an MSc degree in an area relevant to the subject, e.g. numerical fluid dynamics, experimental fluid dynamics, engineering (aerospace, mechanical or civil), applied physics or mathematics. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and experience with research in numerical or experimental modelling is required. Experience with active development of CFD models is also a plus.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information, please contact Axelle Vire, phone:+31 (0)15-2781385, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV (including grades) along with a cover letter and the names of at least two persons that are willing to write a letter of recommendation if requested. Please e-mail your application by 1 July 2017 to Sylvia Willems,
When applying, please refer to vacancy number LR17-19.
If your MsC diploma and transcript are not in Dutch, English, French or German and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Aerospace Engineering
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2222 to €2840 per month gross

Closing date
July 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Axelle Vire, Assistant Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2781385

For more information about the application procedure, please contact S. M. Willems/AWEP.