PhD on Effect of inflow conditions on the source noise of large onshore wind turbines

Delft University of Technology


PhD: Effect of inflow conditions on the source noise of large onshore wind turbines


Department/faculty: Faculty Aerospace Engineering

Level: University Graduate

Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly

Contract: 4 years

Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)


Faculty Aerospace Engineering



The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,500 BSc and MSc students, 214 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.

The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated. 

The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large offshore farms, are the objective of the research of the Wind Energy Section. The department operates comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems. 

The section Wind Energy is part of the Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) Department in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. The Wind Energy section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education. In its research activities there is a focus on large, multi megawatt offshore wind turbines and offshore wind farms, though onshore large turbines and urban wind power are also addressed. Both technology development aspects as well as fundamental aspects are present in the research programme. With respect to education, dedicated courses at the BSc and MSc levels are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM) students.


Job description


The noise of modern large wind turbines is dominated by trailing edge noise from the blades. Several noise reduction technologies, like serrations, have been successfully applied in the industry to reduce this noise source. However, the influence of inflow parameters on wind turbine noise, including the dependence on terrain and meteorological conditions, is largely unknown. The purpose of this PhD project is to understand the influence of inflow conditions on airfoil source noise, quantify the importance on large wind turbines, and explore noise reduction technologies. This PhD project is supervised by both TU Delft and by the wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE). The candidate will be spending most of the time at TU Delft but may also work for shorter periods at SGRE in Denmark. The candidate will cooperate with supervisors at TU Delft and SGRE to carry out the following research goals:

    • Understanding of inflow turbulence noise on 2D airfoils by combined numerical and experimental work. Computational aeroacoustics and analytical theories will be applied, and acoustic/aerodynamic wind tunnel experiments will be carried out, trying to mimic full-scale wind turbine conditions. Understanding of the dependencies and characteristics of inflow turbulence noise will be a priority. Parameters to be studied include for example inflow turbulence characteristics, flow speed, angle of attack, and airfoil shape. Based on these studies mitigation technologies to reduce inflow turbulence noise on 2D airfoils will be explored.


    • Transfer the findings for the 2D airfoil case to full scale wind turbines using computational aeroacoustics and semi empirical modelling. The effect of inflow turbulence levels and other inflow parameters (shear, density, etc.) on wind turbine noise will be carried out, using existing full scale experimental data. Noise mitigation technologies will be assessed in terms of acoustic/aerodynamic benefit, implementation, cost, etc.





he PhD position is granted by the Marie Skłodowska Curie ETN Zephyr project. Mobility requirements apply to this position. Researchers can be of any nationality. They are required to undertake trans national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. The location of the researcher’s residence or main activities during the 3 years prior to their recruitment is determining. The PhD candidate is going to be hired by TU Delft (NL), therefore the candidate is eligible to be recruited if he/she has resided or carried out his/her main activity outside of the Netherlands for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.

The candidate should have an MSc degree in an area relevant to the subject, e.g. aerospace engineering, (applied) physics, applied mathematics, electrical engineering, materials or mechanical engineering. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and a strong interest in performing experiments and fluency in English is required. A solid knowledge of signal processing and advanced programming skills are advantageous for this position.

The multidisciplinary topics addressed in zEPHYR are scientifically challenging and of high technological and economical relevance, promising interesting career perspectives in academic and multi-sectorial industrial environments. The zEPHYR partners do strictly adhere to the ethical standards of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers . Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply. A strict equal opportunity, gender-neutral and internationally comparable recruitment procedure is implemented. Candidates cannot hold a doctorate degree and should be within 4 years of obtaining their MSc qualification.


Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. You will have 232 hours of paid leave each year and in addition to your salary, at TU Delft you will receive an annual holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your salary. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application


For more information about this position, please contact D. Ragni, phone: +31 (0)15-2782053, e-mail:


To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, 3 references, proof of English language level and copies of your degree and grades along with a letter of application by 1 November 2019 to D. Ragni, When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number LR19.30.

In your application, please refer to