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Senior Research Associate in Wave Energy Converter Experimental and Computational Modelling

Salary:   £34,804 to £40,322
Closing Date:   Wednesday 26 May 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A3361

(For the research project: “Novel High Performance Wave Energy Converters with advanced control, reliability and survivability systems through machine-learning forecasting (NHP-WEC)”.) 

We wish to appoint a talented and passionate researcher to undertake advanced research in the field of Wave Energy Converter Development and more specifically with the Concept Optimisation. This is a 30-month appointment. 

The NHP-WEC project recommends investigations into key aspects of Wave Energy Converter (WEC) technology and global deployment potential, requiring the integration of novel methodologies across optimisation, control, condition monitoring and resource forecasting. These advances will drive evidenced reductions in costs and hence provide confidence about the benefits of wave energy technology to developers and investors.  

Our aim is to advance WEC technology by developing essential device control and monitoring systems that are integrated with high fidelity sea state forecasting. To bring focus, research into novel algorithms and methods will be orientated around two case study challenges, namely the TALOS concept device and the SmartWave toolset. Our ambition is to bridge the gap between small-scale modelling and the higher TRL now required in order to evidence costs and demonstrate commercialisation potential. 

The project is led by Professor George A. Aggidis, Engineering Department at Lancaster University. You will work in an international environment and collaborate with top institutions and companies. 

Your role will concern the Concept Optimisation including Experimental and Numerical Hydrodynamic Analysis, Geometric Optimisation, and Power Take-Off Design, using Computational Modelling (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and Experimental Modelling (Wave Tank Testing).  Understanding the interactions between a WEC and ocean waves is essential for device modelling with respect to its stability and energy extraction capabilities. With every design iteration, the hydrodynamic characteristics can change and need to be fully understood, as they will affect all subsequent stages of analysis and development. You will contribute to the assembly and testing of a scale model of the TALOS WEC for its testing using the state-of-the-art facilities at Lancaster University Engineering Department and in collaboration with our University of Hull partners. It is highly desirable that you have experience in both computational and experimental modelling; experience and knowledge in Wave Energy Converter technology; experience on Computational Fluid Dynamics, 3D mechanical CAD and Wave Tank Testing. We will offer specific training and support in any area that is required. 

The Engineering Department at Lancaster University has excellent research laboratories and associated research facilities to support the computational and experimental modelling requirements of this technology development project. The Engineering Department at Lancaster University has all the necessary software tools including MATLAB, SolidWorks, COMSOL Multiphysics software, ANSYS CFD (CFX and Fluent), etc., together with a link to the University’s HEC supercomputing capability in order to minimise computational time. Engineering also has local access to manufacturing and rapid prototyping (3D printing) equipment and expertise to further assist the experimental prototype testing.  

You must hold a PhD in relevant disciplines and any related academic or industrial experience is highly desirable.  

You must have excellent skills in interpersonal communications to effectively work in team. You will be actively involved in meetings, workshops and conferences. You will prepare high quality presentations, reports and journal papers in collaboration with the group. You will be responsible for specific tasks of the project, subject to tight deadlines.  

You will join us on an indefinite contract, however, the role remains contingent on external funding which at this time is for 30 months.

Lancaster University is campus-based, and is situated adjacent to the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and proximate to another AONB and two National Parks in the north-west of England. Lancaster is just one hour from international airports at Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. The town and the region are home to a variety of excellent schools and enjoy excellent public transport and national rail links. A wide selection of facilities is available on campus including a large variety of social facilities, eateries, a new sports centre, and a highly regarded pre-school centre.  

We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis, as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. 

Informal enquiries can be made to: Professor George A. Aggidis E-mail:  

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups. 




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Further details:

The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.


We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.


We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.



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