Research Associate in Composite Manufacturing & Testing for Tidal Energy

Job Description

An exciting Research Associate position is available to join two significant projects for tidal energy applications, namely CoTide (EPSRC grant EP/X03903X/1) and MAXBlade (H2020, UKRI grant 10045731). You will be working with Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and Dr Colin Robert.

The ideal candidate would have proven research and/or industrial experience in composite manufacturing, especially resin infusion and the latest state of the art in infusion of large structures. An advanced knowledge of composite mechanical testing (static and fatigue) and characterisation (SEM, DSC, DMA) is needed. Ageing expertise (water, UV, cavitation) would also be a great asset. Finally, the candidate should have expertise in polymer chemistry, specifically on the topic of bio-sourced and recyclable thermoplastic and thermosets, in order to develop a circular economy materials approach.

Candidates should hold a PhD in engineering or materials science and have an extensive background knowledge of composite science.

The post holder will need to show independence, creativity and flexibility in their approach alongside working together within a team in Sheffield, but also alongside the numerous partners involved in these programs, which will involve a high degree of communication and knowledge sharing between partners and an interdisciplinary approach to the work. In addition, they will be expected to develop a thorough understanding of sustainable composite manufacturing for tidal blade applications and contribute to the academic knowledge base through publications and presentations.

MAXBlade: Maximising tidal energy generation through Blade Scaling & Advanced Digital Engineering.
MAXBlade is a highly ambitious project which aims to deliver the essential blade and rotor innovations needed to increase rotor diameter to 26m. This blade increase will increase the area the blade can sweep by 70% - hugely improving tidal energy efficiencies and reducing Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCoE) by 20%.

CoTide: Co-design to deliver Scalable Tidal Stream Energy.
Our vision for CoTide is to develop and demonstrate holistic integrated tools and design processes for tidal stream energy that will significantly reduce costs by removing unnecessary redundancy and improving confidence in engineering solutions, providing the transformative engineering processes and designs that will enable tidal energy to make a significant contribution to achieving climate change objectives by 2030-40.

This position is available at the University of Sheffield from 1st February 2024 until 31st January 2026 and may be extended subject to project funding.

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