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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S023763/1
Title: EPSRC and NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment
Principal Investigator: Dorrell, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Earle, Dr F Wright, Professor NG Talling, Professor P
Dervilis, Professor N Osborne, Dr P Parsons, Professor DR
Gilbert, Professor J Hogg, Professor SI Dethlefs, Dr N
Shahbazi, Dr M Berggren, Professor P Coombs, Professor WM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ABP (Associated British Ports) AIST (Nat Inst of Adv Ind Sci & Tech) Centre for Env Fisheries Aqua Sci CEFAS
Engie (UK) H R Wallingford Ltd Humber Chemical Focus Ltd
JBA Consulting JDR Cable Systems (Holdings) Ltd JNCC (Joint Nature Conserv Committee)
NOC (Up to 31.10.2019) Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Orsted (UK)
Siemens STFC Laboratories (Grouped) University of Plymouth
Department: Energy and Environment Institute
Organisation: University of Hull
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2019 Ends: 30 September 2027 Value (£): 6,057,054
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Marine & Hydropower Wind Power
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel S – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form

There is a compelling need for well-trained future UK leaders in, the rapidly growing, Offshore Wind (OSW) Energy sector, whose skills extend across boundaries of engineering and environmental sciences. The Aura CDT proposed here unites world-leading expertise and facilities in offshore wind (OSW) engineering and the environment via academic partnerships and links to industry knowledge of key real-world challenges. The CDT will build a unique PhD cohort programme that forges interdisciplinary collaboration between key UK academic institutions, and the major global industry players and will deliver an integrated research programme, tailored to the industry need, that maximises industrial and academic impact across the OSW sector.

The most significant OSW industry cluster operates along the coast of north-east England, centred on the Humber Estuary, where Aura is based. The Humber 'Energy Estuary' is located at the centre of ~90% of all UK OSW projects currently in development. Recent estimates suggest that to meet national energy targets, developers need >4,000 offshore wind turbines, worth £120 billion, within 100 km of the Humber. Location, combined with existing infrastructure, has led the OSW industry to invest in the Humber at a transformative scale. This includes: (1) £315M investment by Siemens and ABP in an OSW turbine blade manufacturing plant, and logistics hub, at Greenport Hull, creating over 1,000 direct jobs; (2) £40M in infrastructure in Grimsby, part of a £6BN ongoing investment in the Humber, supporting Orsted, Eon, Centrica, Siemens-Gamesa and MHI Vestas; (3) The £450M Able Marine Energy Park, a bespoke port facility focused on the operations and maintenance of OSW; and (4) Significant growth in local and regional supply chain companies.

The Aura cluster (www.aurawindenergy.com) has the critical mass needed to deliver a multidisciplinary CDT on OSW research and innovation, and train future OSW sector leaders effectively. It is led by the University of Hull, in collaboration with the Universities of Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield. Aura has already forged major collaborations between academia and industry (e.g. Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy and Orsted). Core members also include the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), who respectively are the UK government bodies that directly support innovation in the OSW sector and the development of novel marine environment technology and science. The Aura CDT will develop future leaders with urgently needed skills that span Engineering (EPSRC) and Environmental (NERC) Sciences, whose research plays a key role in solving major OSW challenges. Our vision is to ensure the UK capitalises on a world-leading position in offshore wind energy.

The CDT will involve 5 annual cohorts of at least 14 students, supported by EPSRC/NERC and the Universities of Hull, Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield, and by industry. In Year 1, the CDT provides students, recruited from disparate backgrounds, with a consistent foundation of learning in OSW and the Environment, after which they will be awarded a University of Hull PG Diploma in Wind Energy. The Hull PG Diploma consists of 6 x 20 credit modules. In Year 1, Trimester 1, three core modules, adapted from current Hull MSc courses and supported by academics across the partner-institutes, will cover: i) an introduction to OSW, with industry guest lectures; ii) a core skills module, in data analysis and visualization; and iii) an industry-directed group research project that utilises resources and supervisors across the Aura partner institutes and industry partners. In Year 1, Trimester 2, Aura students will specialise further in OSW via 3 modules chosen from >24 relevant Hull MSc level courses. This first year at Hull will be followed in Years 2-4 by a PhD by research at one of the partner institutions, together with a range of continued cohort development and training.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hull.ac.uk