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MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc-PhD Position#CD22-37: Offshore wind turbine monopile foundation: Experimental and numerical study of soil-structure interaction

13/10/2022

Job Information

Organisation/Company
Université Gustave Eiffel
Department
MAST-EMGCU
Research Field
Engineering
Engineering » Geological engineering
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Country
France
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Temporary
Job Status
Full-time
Hours Per Week
35
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
101034248
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?
No

Offer Description

Offshore wind turbines (OWT) form one of the principal solutions adopted to ensure the cleanliness, sustainability, and renewability of energy sources. Therefore, this field is growing exponentially, manifested by the increase of the dimensions and capacities of these structures. Besides, the environmental loading acting on these structures equally increases, imposing particular attention on the design of the foundation system. Due to economic and practical reasons, monopile foundations are commonly adopted. The form of these monopiles depends on wind turbines growth, moving to a smaller length-to-diameter ratio and then to more rigid behavior. The behavior of this kind of monopiles under lateral cyclic loading still involves some knowledge gaps. Recently, several physical models have been developed to fulfill this purpose, leading to propose a conservative design method. Due to the problem complexity (soil-structure interaction, dynamic aspect, soil liquefaction, scouring, . . .) and despite the progress achieved in this field, conflicting findings are still encountered, depending on the considered approach to the problem.

 

The geotechnical team of the Navier laboratory is working on offshore wind turbine’s foundation since 2014 with the PhD thesis of Laura Kerner. This thesis deals with the evolution of the first natural frequency of an offshore wind turbine. In order to avoid any resonance phenomenon, a precise evaluation of the natural frequency of the wind turbine after its installation but also its evolution during the operation of the turbine are the two main issues considered. An experimental work was developed with two 1g physical models installed in sand. Procedures were set up for static and cyclic tests on these models.

This first study was followed by the PhD thesis of Hussein Bakri from 2018 to 2021. Based on Kerner’s work, new scaled models were developed with a set of scaling laws under laboratory gravity focused on the soil non-linearity, the soil-structure interaction and the dynamic response of the system. Finite element simulations were carried out to verify the dynamic similarity between the scale models and the prototype for the first mode of vibration. The sand behavior at different stress levels is investigated in order to determine the sand state required to simulate the prototype sand state at the laboratory scale. A constitutive model based on Hoek-Brown failure criteria is developed to simulate the sand behavior at different stress levels. Moreover, cyclic strain-controlled tests with different excitation frequencies are performed, allowing to validate the testing procedure.

These two studies allowed to build original and robust procedures to test offshore wind turbine’s scale models submitted to static or cyclic loading. Some questions remain and need further research. A cyclic test program is suggested in the work of Bakri in order to constitute a database to adopt or propose empirical laws predicting the displacement/rotation accumulation and the foundation stiffness evolution as a function of the cycles number and the conditions of the studied case.

This PhD study entitled Offshore wind turbine monopile foundation: experimental and numerical study of soil-structure interaction has two main goals:

-Study of offshore wind turbine’s scale model subjected to cyclic loading. This study will include the improvement of the cyclic test procedure with a load-controlled setup. A parametric study can be considered: loading characteristics, sand density index, monopile rigidity, etc. The subsidence cone formation around the monopile should be also evaluated.

-Study and development of empirical laws predicting the displacement/rotation accumulation and the foundation stiffness evolution as a function of the cycles number. Simulation of permanent strains/displacements after first load cycle (as a basis for the usual cyclic extrapolation methods) should be considered. One possible approach is a 3D FE analysis of laterally loaded monopile and soil continuum with hypoplastic constitutive model using Plaxis. This work will be based on the cyclic test program conducted in Navier laboratory but also on the database provided by the BAM. The BAM has been dealing with several topics on the foundations for offshore wind parks for the past 15 years. Therefore, the BAM has conducted physical model tests in reduced scale but also large-scale field tests in an open-air facility in Horstwalde.

This multidisciplinary study will be supervised by experts in experimental geotechnical test, structural tests and/or numerical study.

Requirements

Research Field
Geosciences
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
Skills/Qualifications
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
Languages
FRENCH
Level
Basic
Languages
ENGLISH
Level
Excellent

Additional Information

Benefits
  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.
Eligibility criteria
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.
  • One application per call per year is allowed.
  • Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).
  • Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.
  • Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.
  • There is no age limit.
Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website: https://clear-doc.univ-gustave-eiffel.fr/how-to-apply/useful-documents/

Additional comments
  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • International mobility planned:

International mobility planned at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM).

Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.

There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.

Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
1
Company/Institute
Université Gustave Eiffel
Country
France
City
Marne-La-Vallée
Postal Code
77454
Street
5, Boulevard Descartes
Geofield

Contact

State/Province
laura.kerner@univ-eiffel.fr
City
Marne-La-Vallée
Website
Street
5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code
77454