Aura CDT students inspire the next generation of offshore wind scientists

9 November 2023

Our Aura CDT students are running a community engagement project, helping pupils from Egglescliffe School, Teesside explore the science behind building a wind turbine. Led by the Aura CDT’s Student Community Engagement lead, Isha Saxena along with Sarah Dickson, a team of seven volunteers drawn from various cohorts of the Aura CDT are delivering interactive workshop activities.

Isha Saxena said:

“Aura CDT students are inspiring the next generation of offshore wind scientists by sharing their knowledge and passion for the field. Their dedication to mentoring and supporting the Egglescliffe School pupils is truly commendable, and I am confident that this project will help to create a more sustainable future for all.”

The project was the result of a request from Mr Mike Fairbairn, who teachers at Egglescliffe School. He wanted to teach students to build a wind turbine on the campus. A programme of workshops has been developed to assist with this aim, with pupils from the school’s young engineers from a wider age range(a working with the Aura CDT online, at the school and on campus at Durham University. The Durham University visit will include a presentation from Professors Grant Ingram and Simon Hogg. The team have also engaged the Smallpeice Trust, an educational charity specialising in inspirational STEM activities, to deliver a workshop

From the Aura CDT:

Gemma Hoyes will help the pupils explore the environmental impact of wind turbines, including noise pollution, bird strikes and temperatures. She will also introduce the impact on the seabed during the entire lifecycle of the wind turbines and the ways to monitor it.

At the Durham University session, Raveena Singi Reddy will discuss the working principles of wind turbines and the basic components. Oliver Morgan-Clague and Anna Weatherburn will introduce the materials used in turbine manufacture and the aerodynamics of wind turbines, including the principles of lift and drag. This will help the students understand the impact of blade shape and wind speed on turbine performance.

At the Egglescliffe School session, Jordan Fuentes Holden will look at wind turbine control systems, including pitch control, yaw control and power control. Discuss the role of these systems in optimising turbine performance. Connor Walker will explore the grid integration of wind turbines, including how power is transmitted and distributed and the challenges of integrating wind energy into the national grid. Callum Rothon will discuss the importance of proper maintenance in ensuring long-term performance and reliability.

The Egglescliffe pupils will use the sessions to inform their design and build plans for a working model wind turbine. The Aura CDT students will maintain contact with the group to help refine their ideas and ensure the project comes to fruition. Watch this space!

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