Blade Factory Digital Twin for Recording and Analysing Production Parameters with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Aura CDT Industry PhD Scholarships

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy: Blade Factory Digital Twin

In partnership with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), 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 the application of digital twins to predict real world performance of turbine blades.

Wind turbine blades are some of the largest composite structures currently manufactured and they are becoming larger and more sophisticated. Blades are manufactured in SGRE’s Hull facility through a number of complex manual and machine based processes. In order to monitor and improve these processes a digital twin of them is required. A digital twin is a digital representation of the processes and procedures within the manufacturing environment, displayed and modelled as close to real time as possible. As such, a digital twin is a very powerful tool which can be used to combine the many and complex data streams inside the factory environment into a single simulation; from that simulation, data can then be monitored to help improve machine or process efficiencies, reduce safety risks, and make other general improvements.

Working with SGRE, the largest manufacturer of offshore wind turbines, you will investigate the end-to-end production process inside the Hull factory environment and identify the key aspects and data models that are needed to create the type of simulation that is desired. The work is supported by SGRE and will involve close collaboration with SGRE colleagues in the UK and Denmark.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Blade Factory in Hull

The project aims are:

  • Identify all relevant parameters affecting the blade manufacturing process and further identify which of these could contribute to the digital twin simulation.
  • Explore how to digitalise the data collection infrastructure of the manufacturing process while considering the connectivity of machinery and edge devices that might have a wide range capability when it comes to ‘built in connectivity’.
  • A clear end to end process and storage map that would show what is required for a digital twin. This is in terms of both technical requirements and in process terms.
  • Create a digital twin along-side our plant simulation team, adding value in module development from the identified issues.
  • Develop techniques to analyse data to establish any correlations between specific parameters and known defects and implement inside the created digital twin.
  • Storage and future applications of ‘as-built’ blade digital twins considering client-side storage and rendering in a real manufacturing environment.
  • Understand and identify creative ways to display complex data in a simple way that makes intuitive sense.

The post is available from September 2021 as a full-time position. You will join Cohort 3 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 in Sheffield, supported by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

Instructions on How to Apply

Academic Supervisors

Dr Peter Osborne, AMRC Sheffield   email:

Prof David Wagg, Sheffield   email:

Prof James Gilbert, Hull   email:



This full-time Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘Home’ student rate and maintenance (£15,560 per annum, 2021/22 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress. We are unable to accept International students on this project.


Entry requirements

If you have a First-class Honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering, Computer Science or related disciplines we would like to hear from you. Experience of modelling mechanical systems and/or manufacturing processes would be advantageous.

Watch our webinar recording to find out more

Industry Scholarship applications open until 24/01/21