PhD in Industrial Asset Management: Predictive Maintenance for Wind Blade Erosion

Job description

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Industrial Asset Management at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology. The position is vacant from August 2023.

This is a trainee position that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development through a PhD education leading to a doctoral degree.

The hired candidate will be admitted to the PhD program in Science and Technology. The education includes relevant courses amounting to about six months of study, a dissertation based on independent research, participation in national and international research environments, relevant academic communication, a trial lecture and public defence. Read more about the PhD education at UiS on our website.

The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively.

Research topic

The PhD Fellow will be affiliated with the following project: Predictive Maintenance for Wind Turbine Blade Erosion .

The wind energy industry in and around the North Sea is rapidly evolving where bigger and more innovative wind turbine models are installed. Globally, blade failures are responsible for 10% to 24% of total failures, and around 131 to 556 downtime hours per wind turbine. Therefore, the maintenance expenses and production losses due to such high frequent failures and long downtime events, are significant issues for the industry. Leading-edge erosion on wind turbine blades is a major cause of these failure and maintenance events, besides the reduced power output (due to a reduction in lifting coefficient). Leading-edge erosion is caused by the repeated bombardment of the wind turbine blade, primarily by raindrops and particulate matter, such as snow, hail, salt, and Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A general trend is observed where the blade erosion failure rate increases proportionally with the turbines rating, as the blade is larger and the tip speed is higher. Manual blade inspection (once a year) is a common practice to ensure the blade s health and plan for blade repair operations in good time, to avoid production performance losses, and keep the repair cost minimal. However, blade inspection operations are also challenging, costly, less informative (once a year), and enforce the development toward monitoring (especially online) or unmanned inspection operations (using drones). Blade erosion might generate several symptoms, e.g. vibration, acoustic, mass loss, and impact energy, which might help to diagnose the severity level and further to predict the remaining useful time.

Therefore, the purpose of this project is to study the vibration and acoustic behaviour of eroded blades at several severity levels in order to remotely monitor and build a predictive maintenance program.

This project aims to answer the following research questions: (1) How does blade erosion fault evolve over time and which symptoms can be measured over time? (2) What is the most effective experimental set-up to accelerate blade erosion naturally or artificially and capable to mimic real erosion evolution? (3) What are the most effective detection and diagnosis technique(s) to detect the blade erosion severity level? and (4) What is the most effective prognosis technique to estimate the remaining useful time based on real-time measurements?

The project requires a high level of project management skills as it will be strongly connected to three local industrial partners.

Qualification requirements

We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within maintenance engineering, mechanical engineering, material science, mechatronics engineering or industrial engineering, preferably acquired recently; or who possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate.

It is an advantage if your have experience within mechanical modelling and condition monitoring. Monitoring is an important part of the project to discover symptoms in eroded blades at different levels. It is also an advantage if you have background within predictive analyses, used to classify faults and the level of severity, and to predict residual use time for the assets, will be preferred.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Stavanger both the grade for your master s thesis and the weighted average grade of your master s degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade. If you finish your education (masters degree) in the spring of 2023, you are also welcome to apply.

Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F, and/or with other types of credits than sp/ECTS, must attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale and a Diploma Supplement or similar that explains the scope of the subjects that are included in the education. You can use these conversion scales to calculate your points for admission.

Emphasis is also placed on your:

  • motivation and potential for research within the field
  • professional and personal skills for completing the doctoral degree within the timeframe
  • ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative
  • ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload
  • having a good command of both oral and written English
Requirements for competence in English

A good proficiency in English is required for anyone attending the PhD program. International applicants must document this by taking one of the following tests with the following results:

  • TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test (IBT). Minimum result: 90
  • IELTS International English Language Testing Service. Minimum result: 6.5
  • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Cambridge
  • PTE Academic Pearson Test of English Academic. Minimum result: 62

The following applicants are exempt from the above requirements:

  • Applicants with one year of completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA
  • Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
  • Applicants with a completed bachelor's and / or master's degrees taught in English in a EU/EEA country
We offer
  • a PhD education in a large, exciting and societally important organisation
  • an ambitious work community which is developing rapidly. We strive to include employees at all levels in strategic decisions and promote an informal atmosphere with a flat organisational structure.
  • salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, l.pl 17.515, code 1017, NOK 501 200 gross per year with salary development according to seniority in the position. A higher salary may be considered in special cases. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • automatic membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which provides favourable insurance- and retirement benefits
  • favourable membership terms at a gym and at the SIS sports club at campus
  • employment with an Inclusive Workplace organisation which is committed to reducing sick leave, increasing the proportion of employees with reduced working capacity, and increasing the number of professionally active seniors
  • "Hjem-jobb-hjem" discounted public transport to and from work
  • as an employee in Norway, you will have access to an optimal health service, as well as good pensions, generous maternity/paternity leave, and a competitive salary. Nursery places are guaranteed and reasonably priced
  • relocation programme
  • language courses: On this page you can see which language courses you may be entitled to (look up language courses under employment conditions)
Diversity

University of Stavanger values independence, involvement and innovation. Diversity is respected and considered a resource in our work and learning environment. Universal design characterises physical and digital learning environments, and we strive to provide reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities.

You are encouraged to apply regardless of gender, disability or cultural background.

The university aims to recruit more women within the subject area. If several applicants are considered to have equal qualifications, female applicants will be given priority.

Contact information

More information on the position (and project description) can be obtained from Heaf of Department Mona W. Minde, tel: +47 51 83 11 97, e-mail: mona.w.minde@uis.no or Associate Professor Idriss El-Thalji , tel: +47 51 83 27 94, e-mail: idriss.el-thalji@uis.no.

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR advisor Rosa Andrade, tel: +47 51 83 11 91, e-mail: rekruttering@uis.no.

Application

To apply for this position please follow the link "Apply for this job". Your application letter, relevant education and work experience as well as language skills must be registered here. In your application letter, you must state your research interests and motivation for the position.

The following documents must be uploaded as attachments to your application:

  • CV with a full summary of your education and experience
  • references, certificates/diplomas and other documentation that you consider relevant
  • Diploma Supplement or similar and a confirmed conversion scale if this is required
  • documentation on competence in English if this is required
  • publications or other relevant research work

Applications are evaluated based on the information available in Jobbnorge at the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above and that you have attached the necessary documentation.

The documentation must be available in either a Scandinavian language or in English. If the total size of the attachments exceeds 30 MB, they must be compressed before upload.

Please note that information on applicants may be published even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the official list of applicants - see Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act. If your request is not granted, you will be notified.

UiS only considers applications and attachments registered in Jobbnorge.

General information

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. If your application is considered to be in conflict with the criteria in the latter legislation, it will be rejected without further assessment.

Employment as PhD Fellow is regulated in "Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow and research fellow, research assistant and resident".

Your qualifications for the position, based on documentation registered in Jobbnorge, will be assessed by an internal expert committee. Based on the committee's statement, relevant applicants will be invited to an interview before any recommendations are made. References will also be obtained for relevant candidates. More about the hiring process on our website.

The appointee will be based at the University of Stavanger, with the exception of a stay abroad at a relevant centre of research.

It is a prerequisite that you have a residence which enables you to be present at/available to the academic community during ordinary working hours.

The position has been announced in both Norwegian and English. In the case of differences of meaning between the texts, the Norwegian text takes precedence.

UiS - challenge the well-known and explore the unknown

The University of Stavanger (UiS) has about 12,000 students and 2,200 employees. The university has high ambitions. We strive to have an innovative and international profile, and be a driving force in knowledge development and in the process of societal change. Our common direction is driven by consideration for green and sustainable change and equitable social development, through new ways of managing natural resources and facilitating better cities and local communities. Energy, health and welfare, learning for life are our focus areas.

In constant collaboration and dialogue with our surroundings, regionally, nationally and internationally, we enjoy an open and creative climate for education, research, innovation, dissemination and museum activities. Academic life at the University of Stavanger is organised into six faculties comprising various departments/schools and National Research Centres, as well as the Museum of Archaeology. We are a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The university is located in the most attractive region in the country with more than 300,000 inhabitants. The Stavanger region has a dynamic labour market and exciting cultural and leisure activities.

Together with our staff and students we will challenge the well-known and explore the unknown.

The Faculty of Science and Technology offers study programs at bachelor, master and doctoral level. The faculty has established close cooperation on research with NORCE (Norwegian Research Centre AS) and the regional industry. A number of master's and doctoral theses are made in collaboration with the industry. The faculty has established research collaborations with universities in the US and Europe, and has developed several academic environments that are at the forefront internationally.The faculty has about 2,800 students and approximately 500 employees at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Structural Engineering and Materials Science, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Department of Energy and Petroleum Engineering, Department of Energy Resources and the Department of Safety, Economics and Planning.

The Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering and Materials Science carries out research and offers study programs in Offshore Technology, Marine and Subsea Technology, Offshore Wind, Industrial Asset Management, Structural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The department has a high international profile with students and staff from around the world. There are currently 60 employees including research fellows and postdocs, and 660 students at the department.

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