ORE Catapult: Fibre optic sensors for cable lifetime performance monitoring

Aura CDT Industry PhD Scholarships

ORE Catapult: Fibre optic sensors for cable lifetime performance monitoring

In partnership with Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the Aura CDT is offering a cluster of 4-year taught and research industry-sponsored PhD scholarships. This PhD directly addresses sector needs to understand power cable sensor design.

Failure and repair of array and export cables represent one of the largest costs for wind farm operators and are a focus for extensive research interest. There are varied root causes for cable failures, including stresses caused by seabed movement and free spans, overheating as a result of excess burial depth and excessive curvature during installation and burial, but these are poorly understood.

Fibre optic sensing schemes are an attractive solution for through-life distributed measurement of temperature and strain, making use of the existing optical fibres embedded in the cables for communication purposes. However, there are limitations on the spatial resolution and the resolution of temperature, strain and curvature that can be achieved.

This PhD will consider a range of fibre optic sensing schemes and associated interrogation techniques to assess their capabilities in measuring temperature, strain and curvature when incorporated into different cable cross section structures.

A particular focus will be on improving spatial resolution and resolving strain/curvature in 2 dimensions; which is important for understanding cable loading but is not currently possible. The research will develop a sensing approach, possibly combining distributed or discrete sensing schemes, to address the aforementioned issues. Research project activities will include modelling, design and fabrication of prototype sensors or sensing schemes and the cable structures needed to achieve the aims of the project. These potential solutions will be evaluated experimentally.

The post is available from September 2020 as a full-time position. You will join Cohort 2 of the Aura CDT in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary – the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. Initially, you will study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment, followed by a 3-year PhD supported by ORE Catapult.

Instructions on How to Apply

Academic Supervisors

Prof James Gilbert        email: J.M.Gilbert@hull.ac.uk

Dr Tom Allsop                email: T.Allsop@hull.ac.uk

Dr Rob Dorrell               email: R.Dorrell@hull.ac.uk



This full-time ORE Catapult PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘Home/EU/International’ student rate and maintenance (£15,285 per annum, 2020/21 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress.


Entry requirements

We would like to hear from candidates who have received a First-class honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Physics or a related discipline, we would like to hear from you. Experience of sensor and instrumentation systems would be an advantage.

If your first language is not English, or you require Tier 4 student visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency level that meets the requirements of the Aura CDT’s academic partners. This course requires academic IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each skill.

Apply here