Postdoctoral Research Associate in Wind Farm Aerodynamics

Durham, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £40,322 per annum
Monday, 15 March 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 12 April 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Engineering

Grade 7: - £33,797 - £40,322 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 13 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 12-Apr-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breath-taking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Engineering is consistently one of the very best UK engineering departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. The Department is committed to an ethos of research-led teaching at all levels of its taught programmes, and is ranked 4th in the Guardian and 6th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 in the UK for General Engineering. Ranked 4th in the UK for Research impact at REF 2014, where 90% of the Engineering outputs were graded 3* or 4*, this dynamic department is an excellent place to work. The strategic vision for the Department includes a growth plan of over 50% over the next five years, with a significant enhancement of the research challenge portfolio, and a drive to enrich our undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research provision. It is an exciting time to join this expanding Department and make your mark.

The Department has an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, recognising our commitment to diversity in STEM academia and reflecting the supportive and positive environment within the Department.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Wind Farm Aerodynamics with a particular emphasis on Wind Farm flow Control (WFC) strategies. This position is funded by Innovate UK as part of the Bilateral UK and US offshore wind R&D. The project is entitled “Use of Wind Farm Control on floating platforms for the U.S. offshore wind market”. The UK partners of the project are Durham University, DNV GL, and one of our partner SMEs , and the US partner of the project are National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Cornell University and Equinor. The primary objective of this project is to increase confidence in the use of wake steering and identify technical challenges and advantages of using wake steering on floating offshore wind farms.

This position provides the opportunity to collaborate with a broad range of professionals and researchers in academia and industry on both sides of the Atlantic. The successful applicant will be expected to work closely with other partners to develop new reliable and efficient wake steering engineering models. High fidelity atmospheric and wind farm simulations of US offshore conditions provided by our US partners will be used by the applicant to calibrate wake steering models for a wide range of offshore conditions.


  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations and scientific reports on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.

The funding for the fixed-term post is available for 13 months from 01/11/2021 to 30/11/2022.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by Dr Majid Bastankhah from the Department of Engineering. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 01/11/2021.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Majid Bastankhah (majid.bastankhah@durham.ac.uk). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above, with examples.

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include evaluating the information that you have supplied against the essential criteria for the role. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment in due course.

The Requirements



  • A good first degree in engineering with a strong mathematical and fluid mechanics background.
  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in wind energy or a related subject.


  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  • Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
  • Demonstrable ability to present research papers at international conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
  • Experience in research related to wind farm aerodynamics and offshore wind energy.


  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  • A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
  • Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience of overseeing students with respect ot the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as demonstrator, supervising student projects/practicals.
  • Prior experience in wind farm engineering wake modelling and wind farm control (WFC) strategies.


  • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.