PhD: Climate Change Impact on Offshore Wind Power Generation

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 the Faculty of 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, multi-megawatt 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 levels are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Master (EWEM) students.

Job description

This position is for a PhD researcher to assess the impact of climate change on offshore wind farms with an emphasis on extreme weather events. For example, more storms may have an impact on electricity supply if large numbers of offshore wind farms shut down in high winds. A gust front associated with thunderstorm activity can cause a change from gentle breeze to gale conditions and back within a few hours, causing large power fluctuations which could pose network problems if such events were to increase in frequency. The researcher will:
• analyse surface and remote sensing data to assess frequency and characteristics of extreme weather events;
• use suitable models to downscale global datasets for the prediction of extreme events;
• quantify the impact that future extremes may have on offshore wind farms.


The candidate should have a meteorological background, good data analysis skills, and preferably should have some experience in using mesoscale or computational fluid dynamics models. Computational skills using FORTRAN and Matlab would be an advantage.

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 Prof. Simon Watson, phone:+31 (0)15-2781896, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV and letter of application by 31 August 2017 to Sylvia Willems,
When applying, please refer to vacancy number LR17-27.
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
Aug. 31, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Simon Watson, Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2781896

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