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EURAXESS

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc-PhD Position #CD22-23: Conditions for the reuse of decommissioned wind turbine blade as infrastructure elements made of smart composites

13/10/2022

Job Information

Organisation/Company
Université Gustave Eiffel
Department
COSYS-IMSE
Research Field
Engineering
Engineering » Mechanical 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

The European Union (EU) has made renewable energies a priority by setting the very ambitious objective of increasing the renewable energies produced to 30% in 2030 and 50% in 2050. Thus, wind energy has satisfied 15% of European needs in 2019, which demonstrates its privileged place in the European energy strategy. Wind turbine blades (lifespan between 20 and 25 years) are made of composite materials with thermosetting matrices, irreversibly stiffened and infusible, non-transformable and therefore almost non-recyclable. Recycling also requires heavy means in terms of logistics and technology in order to fully reintegrate downgraded blades into the value chain. This constitutes a major problem, especially when the elements made of composite materials are of large dimensions (case of wind turbine blades). Projections by WindEurope (Association for the promotion of European wind power) at the dawn of 2023 show that 4GW could be completely dismantled, which is equivalent to 14,000 blades and therefore 60,000 tonnes of composite waste to be eliminated sustainably (their recycling is a priority for the European wind industry). These figures are expected to increase in the years to come, hence the European urgency to find a lasting solution based on industries and sectors that can use the products derived from decommissioned wind turbines, thus considerably strengthening the circularity of wind farm products. wind turbines.

Furthermore, MTES commissioned a study on the circularity of wind turbines and published a report in October 2019 which recommends the introduction of EPR (European Products Recycling), an effective resource management tool through which producers take responsibility management of their used products. In particular, EPR encourages blade producers to establish end-of-life management for their products and to design products that are easier to recycle, while reducing the total environmental impact. ERP also encourages the use of higher management options than landfilling for recycling. The new circular economy law adopted on February 10th, 2020 extended EPR responsibilities to new products, but did not include wind turbine blades which it is believed that joint efforts between authorities and industries would be more likely to generate an effective solution.

Objectives & Profile of the PhD Candidate

In line with national priorities (MTES), the considerable experience accumulated by the University G. Eiffel in projects on smart composite structures (National project of large-scale footbridge DECID2 and EVEREST project of wind turbine blades of very large dimensions funded by General Electric and IRT Jules Verne), the objective of this thesis is to study within the LIA SenSIN-CT (LIA UGE - Politecnco Milan) the possibilities of reuse (second life) of wind-turbine blades as elements of infrastructures (pedestrian and cyclist bridges, footbridges and special footbridges in aggressive environments, transportable building structures, etc.).

To do this, an action plan will be put in place with the help of MTES, CEREMA and a wind-blade manufacturer (General Electric) in order to target 1 or 2 locations, as well as target crossing distances.

At the end of this step, specifications will be drawn up by the thesis supervision and a use case with its normative properties will be introduced to the PhD student. Then, a method of robust evaluation of the residual mechanical properties of the blades will be carried out in order to satisfy the specifications of the uses. A design of some structures and/or infrastructures (to be used as pedestrian and cyclist bridges, small and medium span footbridges) will be undertaken by the PhD student within the SenSIN-CT, at Politecnico di Milano (Department of Architecture), and the proposed architectures will be the subject of numerical modeling in order to finely predict the efforts, the assemblies and the limitations of use.

The chosen candidate must master numerical modeling softwares (Abaqus and Comsol) and associated experimental mechanical validations. This includes the theories of damage mechanics and structural mechanics, applied to composites, appropriate sensors choice and structural health monitoring technologies (SHM), ensuring efficient and resilient use of the future infrastructure. The candidate will also be introduced to CESAR LCPC software, so that the different bricks of the models built can enrich the database, by including the specificities of composite materials and the assembly elements, in order to provide an integrated use case.

The thesis is expected to be able to provide fragments of an economic evaluation of the costs linked to the reuse of wind turbines, in comparison with other recycling strategies. This project can be used for civil applications (low weight of composite structures and therefore derived bridges, easy transportability, intrinsic resistance to corrosion ...) by offering interesting choices for river crossings and mountainous sites that are difficult to access. Military applications can be targeted as well, since facilitated logistics is a big advantage in combat zones and one can imagine plethora of military structures, including for example anti-ballistic shelters.

Thesis Supervisor : Monssef DRISSI-HABTI (monssef.drissi-habti@univ-eiffel.fr), Director LIA SenSIN-CT

Monitoring committee :

• V. Carvelli (Politecnico Milan), Co-Supervisor LIA SenSIN-CT

• Pierre Corfdir, Technical Director, Head of the Engineering Structures Techniques Center - CEREMA

• PDL Area

• General Electric (GE)

• A. Khadour (Uni. G. Eiffel)

• E. Bourgeois (Uni. G. Eiffel)

Requirements

Research Field
Engineering
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.
Specific Requirements

The chosen candidate must master numerical modeling softwares (Abaqus and Comsol) and associated experimental mechanical validations. This includes the theories of damage mechanics and structural mechanics, applied to composites, appropriate sensors choice and structural health monitoring technologies (SHM), ensuring efficient and resilient use of the future infrastructure.

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

Applicants must fulfil the following 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 allowe
  • 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
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 is planned at Politecnico di Milano (Italy). R
  • 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
Bouguenais
Postal Code
44340
Street
Allée des Ponts et Chaussées
Geofield

Contact

City
Marne-La-Vallée
Website
Street
5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code
77454
E-Mail
monssef.drissi-habti@univ-eiffel.fr