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Research Associate in Wave Energy Converter Optimisation and Control

Salary:   £28,756 to £33,309
Closing Date:   Sunday 05 December 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A3581

We wish to appoint a talented and passionate researcher to undertake advanced research in the field of Wave Energy Converter Development and specifically with the Survivability, Reliability and Optimised Control of Devices in the Marine Environment. This is a 16 months 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 overall project is led by Professor George A. Aggidis, and the specific aspect of your research will be led by Dr Xiandong Ma and Professor C. James Taylor, Engineering Department at Lancaster University. You will work in an international environment and collaborate with top institutions and companies. 

Your role will concern the Survivability, Reliability and Optimised Control of Devices in the Marine Environment, including the Smart Sensor and Data Acquisition Framework, Intelligent Condition Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance and Optimised Control Strategy. This research will deliver the new intelligent condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and multi-axis control strategies, required for the later validation and cost calculations related to WECs like TALOS. A scale model of the TALOS WEC will use 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 and knowledge in Wave Energy Converter technology. 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, CAPTAIN software, 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. The core expertise associated with this research is condition monitoring, data driven modelling, applied systems control, and the fundamental science of wave energy devices. 

You must hold a PhD in relevant disciplines and any related academic or industrial experience is highly desirable. Experience in sensor technology, signal processing and data driven modeling, and in using embedded data acquisition systems and software programming would be an advantage. 

You must have excellent skills in interpersonal communications to effectively work in a 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 16 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: Dr Xiandong Ma, E-mail: and Professor C. James Taylor, E-mail:  

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups. 


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Please note: Unless specified otherwise in the advert wording, all advertised roles are UK based.

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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