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Project Title: Strength, maintainability, and reliability of open ocean aquaculture stainless steel structures in offshore wind farms (WP1)

Host Institution: KU Leuven

Country: Belgium

Supervisor: Barbara Rossi (PhD promoter, KU Leuven)

Objectives: (i) to optimize novel open ocean aquaculture stainless steel structures to minimize harmful interactions with its neighboring pre-existing structures used as anchorages, hence employing pre-existing marine infrastructure advantageously as a support for seaweed cultivation, (ii) to evaluate the environmental loadings in the long-term, and (iii) to study the reliability of the system composed of the pre-existing structures and the new stainless steel structure when submitted to these complex environmental loadings.

DC1 will define optimal base materials (among duplex stainless steel grade) for load-bearing structures using a multi-criteria approach and benchmarking against existing structural concepts (planar/multiplanar) and members (bars/ropes). DC1 will analyze the stabilizing components, connections between structural members, structure-foundation bond and the connection with the pre-existing neighboring structures, providing an overview of feasible configurations and their performance in open ocean environments. DC1 will develop a Finite Element model to represent the environmental loads undergone by the structure and study their effects. DC1 will employ numerical simulations as the main research tool for testing the system’s reliability. DC1 will calculate technical-economic and lifecycle environmental impacts.  Iterations will happen between the different activities to guarantee an economic, efficient, reliable and maintainable system following EUROCODE criteria and with low lifecycle environmental impacts.

Expected Results: Knowledge on interactions between newly developed structures and pre-existing infrastructure. Design of complex structures following EUROCODE criteria and with low lifecycle environmental impacts

Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s): KU Leuven, Arenberg Doctoral School of Science, Engineering and Technology

Planned secondments:

Host: Aperam, Supervisor: Audrey Allion Timing: M15-17, Length: 3 months, Purpose: training on the characterization of stainless-steel grades (Duplex, ferritic and austenitic stainless steels).

Host: CTAQUA, Supervisor: Erik-Jan Malta , Timing: M24-26, Length: 3 months, Purpose: training in advanced analytical procedures for seaweed composition determination.

Candidate requirements: 

  • You hold a master’s degree in civil engineering, structural engineering, materials engineering or a related field and you thrive in a multidisciplinary research environment.
  • You have a solid knowledge of load and strength calculations of metal structures.
  • You are ambitious, well organized and have excellent communication skills.
  • You speak and write fluent English and have the ability to work effectively and collaboratively.
  • You are an enthusiastic and motivated person, ready to participate in personal training, international travel and public awareness activities.
  • You have demonstrated your commitment to high quality research.


Apply Now!