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Primary supervisor: Prof. Jan Helsen
The VUB Acoustics and Vibrations Research group and VUB AI-group work closely together in the field of machine monitoring. Novel signal processing and AI methods are developed specifically targeted at the prediction of failures and accurate assessment of their progression. In this context we work closely together with leading companies: Atlas Copco, BASF, DEME, …
The team has a core focus on wind energy in the context of OWI-lab. We have ongoing research projects with MHIVOW, ZF Wind Power, Parkwind, … Our multi-disciplinary approach allows us to bring methodological advancements all the way to application in industry.
Full Project Detail
The process of tracking the health of machinery is commonly known as condition monitoring. Typically, it involves recording data, analyzing this data, and then inspecting the resulting indicators for potential significant changes that could be symptomatic of a defect. Incorporating condition monitoring in the Operations and Maintenance of a company opens the door for predictive maintenance. At VUB we can offer help to companies in this condition monitoring process by performing specialized data analysis of their machines. This can be through the use of vibrations, rotation speed, acoustics, or other sources of measurable information. All these measurements typically produce a lot of complex data, therefore we investigate new ways how we effectively and efficiently analyze this data to provide an as accurate as possible health summary of the machine. Next to data analysis, there is thus also a strong focus on big data processing, automation of the result interpretation using machine learning, and keeping up with the Internet of Things trend of increased sensorization and data acquisition.
Postdoc job description
The research focuses on developing new data analysis tools for condition monitoring of wind turbines and rotating machinery in general. The work will include implementing existing concepts in code, but also developing novel ideas for signal processing. There is a strong emphasis on drivetrain monitoring (bearings, gears, generator,… through vibrations, currents, …) . In addition to the development of novel methodologies for signal analysis, we also strive to deliver actionable information, relevant to the industry. Thanks to our strong connections with several industrial partners, we have the opportunity to work on interesting issues, but this means we also need to disseminate our results. Therefore, your work will go beyond the development of new methods and will also include expanding our data analysis platform with your new tools and combining your new tools with state-of-the-art machine learning approaches. The latter is accomplished by our collaboration with the Artificial Intelligence group of VUB.
We offer the opportunity to work in a very inspired, motivated and enjoyable research group that is looking to expand. The focus is also not purely on academic aspects thanks to our industrial collaborations. On top of the meaningful academic and industrial experience , we encourage going abroad and presenting your work at international conference. Since this is a postdoc position, one of your responsibilities will also be to mentor and supervise PhD and master thesis students. You also need to be willing to help out in writing parts of or giving input for project proposals. It is also possible you will be given minor teaching tasks.
Applicants should preferably have:
- PhD degree in Mechanical, Electrical, Computer Science, or Mathematical engineering
- A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following would also be an advantage: wind turbine dynamics, signal processing, machine learning techniques, Bayesian statistics, ...
- Background or interest in programming (Matlab, python, java, C/C++, …)
- Proficiency in English is a plus
Interested candidates are recommended to apply as soon as possible.
We offer an international open working environment stimulating personal development through international courses, many opportunities to attend and present at conferences abroad. Possibility to spend part of the research abroad. A generous competitive salary, public transport coverage and health insurance. The Postdoc position normally lasts at least 2 years, with potential extension.
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How to apply
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Centrale Nantes has a new PhD position available within the framework of the EU-funded FLOAWER project. FLOAWER project main goal is to train 13 early stage researchers (ESRs) to design better performing, economically viable floating wind turbines.
Among these ESRs, Centrale Nantes has one about the hydrodynamic analysis and numerical modelling of heave-plates dedicated to the design of floating WT.
Heave plates are commonly used in floating wind energy for shifting the resonance periods of the platform out of the predominant wave periods and for damping the motion of the whole structure. During the design phases, heave plates are generally modelled in engineering design tools through Morison-type empirical formulations. These formulations are based on hydrodynamic coefficients that strongly depend on the flow properties (Keulegan–Carpenter number, Reynolds number) and are generally determined experimentally. Several hydrodynamic database are publically available that provides data for different shapes and flow properties but come from a literature dedicated to classical offshore engineering with structures relatively different to the ones developed in the FOW community (larger diameter of heave plates, larger amplitudes of motion, position wrt the free surface).
One of the objectives therefore lies in the implementation of a new methodology based on both CFD calculations and wave tank tests for obtaining a comprehensive hydrodynamic database dedicated to the floating wind community. Wave tank tests and simulations will be carried out for various geometry, column-diameter/heave-plate diameter ratio and heave-plate depth. Experimental tests will be conducted in ECN 3D-wave tank with realistic design and operation sea-states. The PhD student will participate to the design, setup, experimental campaign, and result analysis. Numerical tests will be conducted with an in-house variant of OpenFOAM dedicated to wave-structure interaction through the coupling with accurate deterministic wave evolution models. The PhD student will setup, run and analyze the different cases, including some specific numerical developments if needed.
A second objective will be the characterization of the validation domain of state-of-the-art engineering models for modelling heave-plates and their improvement through a model derived from the experimental and numerical study.
- Hydrodynamic database for various geometries (column-diameter/heave-plate diameter ratio and heave-plate depth…)
- Improved numerical engineering models for modelling heave-plates.
Secondments are planned for all ESRs of FLOAWER project. For the present PhD position, the student will have to spend 3 months during the first year at NTNU in Norway (supervisor Erin Bachynski), to learn on on the design and the experimental testing of heave-plates. At the end of the 2nd year, the student will spend 3 month at IDEOL in La Ciotat (supervisor Riccardo Mariani) to work on a study case on the modelling of heave-plates for barge-like foundation.
- Salary: The successful candidates will be employed on a full-time basis with a competitive salary in accordance with the MSCA rules and the personal circumstances of the applicant. The successful candidate will receive a financial package consisting of MSCA living allowance and mobility allowance. Eligible applicants with a family will also receive an additional family allowance according to the rules of the MSCA. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and will depend on a Host Institution's local tax regulations.
- Supervision: ESRs will benefit from joint supervision and multi-sectoral advisory committees, ensuring the successful completion of their Individual Research projects.
- Training: In addition to their individual scientific projects ESRs will be collaborating with world leading research groups within the Consortium through secondments. All ESRs will benefit from extensive and varied further continuing education, completing a series of carefully designed training modules and transferable skills courses; they will participate in symposia, workshops and international conferences and will have meaningful exposure to the industrial environment through FLOAWER industrial partners.
Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria (to be demonstrated in the CV):
- At the core of the MSCA-ITNs is researcher mobility. At the time of commencing their FLOAWER employment, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their (recruiting) host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account
- Applicants must at the first day of their FLOAWER employment contract, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. This research experience is measured FROM the date when they obtain the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged). Research Experience is measured TO the first day of the FLOAWER employment contract of the researcher.
- English language proficiency: ESRs must demonstrate proficiency in both written and spoken English. This is mandatory for the ESRs to take full advantage of the training program.
Usual MSCA Eligibility Criteria apply and will be verified during the application process. For more information on MSCA, please see : http://ec.europa.eu/mariecurieactions.
A recruitment committee will evaluate the applications and contact the selected applicants for a teleconference interview.