Offshore wind scholarships to nurture future talent for booming sector

Six scholarships which hope to help nurture future talent in the UK’s burgeoning offshore wind sector are being offered at the University of Hull.

The scholarships, announced by the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training, led by the University’s Energy and Environment Institute, will start in September this year, and each look to address a challenge facing the sector.

Run in partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the fully-funded scholarships include a year’s postgraduate diploma training, followed by three years of PhD research.

Prof. Dan Parsons, Lead at the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training, said: “The offshore wind sector must play a crucial role in the UK’s ambition to become net-zero carbon by 2050.

“In the Humber region, we are at the forefront of this low-carbon transition, continually pushing boundaries and attracting world-class research and talent.

“The Humber’s offshore wind sector has quite rightly been recognised as a world-leader, with global companies and SMEs alike coming together to tackle the climate change challenge.

“These scholarships give participants the chance to study and learn at the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary. There really is no better place you could be.”

The Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull, alongside academic partners Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield Universities and over 20 industry partners.

Details of the six scholarships available – each developed alongside industry partners to meet a specific challenge facing the offshore wind sector – are below:

  • ORE Catapult: Array scale sediment transport dynamics

  • ORE Catapult: Hydrodynamic loading of offshore wind infrastructure

  • ORE Catapult: Fibre optic sensors for cable lifetime performance monitoring

  • ORE Catapult: The future of global offshore natural capital with climate change

  • ORE Catapult: Evaluating the impact of motion travel on cognitive ability of offshore workers: a VR experience

  • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy: Wind Turbine Blade Infusion Modelling

The six scholarships are open for applications now. The deadline for entry is Sunday, August 16.

Ben George, General Manager for the Humber Region at ORE Catapult, said: “Having the right skills to call upon here in the UK is vital if we are to meet our ambitious offshore wind growth and net-zero targets and to kick-start the green economic recovery.

“These offshore wind scholarships will link world-class academic research to real industry need, helping to increase the productivity of our offshore wind farms, improve health & safety and continue to drive down costs.”

The Aura CDT is the result of long-term and extensive collaboration between academic and key industry partners.

A wide range of stakeholders representing both large and small companies and non-governmental organisations are involved in delivering training and offering placements, as well as providing industry supervision, ensuring students are exposed to current offshore wind issues throughout their time at the CDT.

Students who undertake the new industry scholarships will complete their postgraduate diploma alongside other Aura CDT students, before progressing onto a 2-4-year PhD research project, supported by their industry sponsor.

Chris Briggs, Regional Innovation Manager at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said: “Research and Development is the foundation for SGRE’s technological advancements, and we value the contributions from postgraduate research made by our trusted University partners.

“In this case, the proximity of our blade factory in Hull, and the relationship we have developed with the University, makes the Aura CDT an obvious partner for this field of research.”

The scholarship with Siemens Gamesa is the latest project in a successful partnership between the University of Hull and the renewable energy leader.

The University last year launched an MSc Master’s Degree in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering, alongside Siemens Gamesa, designed to develop the next generation of technical and industry leaders to keep Britain at the forefront of the offshore wind industry.

Apply, and find out more details on entry requirement for any of the six scholarships here.

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