For shallow water depths a well-proven foundation concept is the monopile. However, at greater water depths of about 40 m it is difficult to document a stiffness of the monopile which ensures a natural frequency of the structure that lies adequately far from the peak excitation frequencies, when current design methods are applied. Further, the damping of the wind turbine can only be estimated poorly. To optimize the design of monopile foundations for wind turbines at greater water depths, better models of the dynamic soil response must be used in the design phase. This entails a formulation of computational models that can be applied to estimate the stiffness and damping in the soil, including any influence of pore water moving through the grain skeleton of the soil. This project aims at the formulation of such models by means of simplified analytical approaches as well as advanced numerical methods.
Applicants for the PhD position should hold a Master’s Degree, preferably in Civil, Structural or Geotechnical Engineering with a strong background in computational geomechanics and dynamics. A good command of oral and written English is also required.