Ocean REFuel – PDRA in Offshore Dynamics (399389)



Faculty of Engineering

Term: Fixed term (36 months)

The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering of the University of Strathclyde has secured research funds from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK) to conduct a major research flagship programme called “Ocean REFuel”. The Ocean-REFuel project brings together a multidisciplinary, world-leading team of researchers from 5 UK universities to consider, at a fundamental level, a whole-energy system to maximise ocean renewable energy (Offshore Wind and Marine Renewable Energy) potential for conversion to zero carbon fuels. The project has transformative ambition addressing a number of big questions concerning our Energy future:

  • How to maximise ocean energy potential in a safe, affordable, sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner?
  • How to alleviate the intermittency of the ocean renewable energy resource?
  • How ocean renewable energy can support renewable heat, industrial and transport demands through vectors other than electricity?
  • How ocean renewable energy can support local, national and international whole energy systems?

Ocean-REFuel is a large project integrating upstream, transportation and storage to end use cases which will over an extended period of time address these questions in an innovative manner developing an understanding of the multiple criteria involved and their interactions.

We are looking for a Research Associate that will lead the research in work package 1, which focuses on the upstream processes in the offshore environment, from extracting the renewable energy source and converting it to electricity, to the conversion of electricity into Hydrogen, to its storage and transportation to shore. The main research questions that this WP aims to answer are:

  • Offshore structures: better a single, integrated platform carrying on all the services (energy extraction, conversion, hydrogen production, storage), or several single-purpose, modular platforms?
  • Would it be better to produce hydrogen offshore or onshore? And to store it onshore or offshore?
  • Would it be better to transport the hydrogen with vessels or pipelines?

The core of the methodology is based on the development of a Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis, and Optimisation (MDAO) framework for these innovative offshore platforms, not only including the main tecno-economic objectives and constraints considered when designing an offshore renewable energy device, but also considering the cross-cutting social and environmental aspects, fed by the other work packages’ results.

Informal enquiries about the post can be directed to Maurizio Collu, Professor in Offshore Renewable Energy Engineering (maurizio.collu@strath.ac.uk).

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