Senior R&D Engineer - Blade Structures

Innovation & Research - Blyth

Ref: 335 Date Posted: 14 October 2021

Senior R&D Engineer - Blade Structures

Research & Disruptive Innovation

Location: Blyth or remote

Competitive Salary, 28 Days Holiday + 10 Days Bank Holiday, Company Pension Scheme, Annual Discretionary Bonus, Hybrid Working

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) is excited to be recruiting for a Senior R&D Engineer – Blade Structures, who will report into our Principal R&D Engineer – Blade Structures and be based within our Research & Disruptive Innovation Directorate.

Research & Disruptive Innovation Directorate supports the development and commercialisation of future offshore renewable energy technologies through both applied research in collaboration with UK and international academia and via direct innovation with SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises).

As part of the Blades Knowledge Area team, you will be key to delivering a number of industry-facing projects where there is a requirement to simulate the structural behaviour of turbine blades. You will work with our Research Aero-Elasticity Engineer to determine if the blades are able to withstand the loads they will encounter in service, using finite element models developed using our in-house tools.

Tell me more about the position?

The main purpose of this role is to support the Principal R&D Engineer – Blade Structures to deliver a wide variety of projects which involve the structural analysis of wind and tidal turbine blades. Blade designs are generated in-house using software which calculates blade loads and optimises blade geometry. This software also calculates the structural design required to withstand these loads, whilst minimising the levelized cost of energy. The projects requiring these designs vary greatly – in some cases, the focus of the work might be to determine how the use of novel recyclable materials will influence the cost of blades whilst in others it may be to understand how additive manufacturing could be leveraged to reduce the cost of wind turbine blades.

Offshore Renewable Energy is evolving at pace and the technical challenges this presents are a key focus of our high performing research team. We collaborate with researchers, OEMs, academia and technology developers providing insights, advisory services and tangible solutions for real world applications. Therefore, the preferred candidate will have previous experience of working with both internal and external stakeholders and leading related collaborative research activity with these stakeholders.

The composition of your work will cover research, development, demonstration and validation activities which will require you to possess a strong command of ICT and relevant software packages. Experience of technical report writing is essential and as part of this role, you will be tasked with publishing high quality research papers and will be expected to represent the company at technical scientific forums and conferences. Additionally, you’ll support ORE Catapult’s commercial engineering activity and lead consultancy projects. With all areas of our work, we maintain a keen focus on Health & Safety.

The high quality of the work produced within Research & Disruptive Innovation Directorate is integral to maintaining our reputation as a leading international research and innovation solutions provider.  The technical areas you will be involved in include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing finite element models of blades and subcomponents using our in-house tools
  • Optimising blade designs using (and contributing to the development of) our in-house code ATOM which has been developed in partnership with the University of Bristol
  • Using topology optimisation to generate input for ORE Catapult’s new additive manufacturing cell located in Blyth, Northumberland
  • Working with our colleagues in ORE Catapult’s Test and Validation directorate to develop better methodologies for performing structural tests on blades
  • Providing support to SMEs (small to medium enterprises) to help them understand how their technologies will influence the structural behaviour of the blade
  • Contributing to European and UK funding applications

What do I need to qualify for this role?

  • Experience in the following areas is a key requirement:
    • Leading R&D projects, bringing strong structural analysis expertise in the application of finite element tools
    • An understanding of the design process for wind turbine blades
    • Use of MATLAB and/or Python to automate tasks
    • Use of scripting to generate FE models
    • Experience of contributing to funding applications
  • Good knowledge in one or more of the following areas is essential:
    • Wind turbine load calculation
    • Composites manufacturing
    • Wind turbine load calculation
    • Multi-scale material modelling
    • Technical product design and development in commercial and R&D spheres in compliance with relevant standards with a good understanding about the related standards
  • Experience with ANSYS Composites Prep/Post is desirable, as is experience of coding user elements/materials for ANSYS APDL
  • Experience of using topology optimisation for additive manufacturing is desirable
  • A PhD / EngD degree in a relevant mechanical engineering / scientific discipline is highly desirable
  • 5 or more years of R&D / industrial design experience in the relevant area of structural analysis
  • Experience in producing research and/or technical reports
  • Good publication track record
  • High capacity for change and willing to learn and adapt new concepts
  • Sound stakeholder management skills
  • Innovative and creative thinking
  • Tenacity, persistence and determination to succeed in overcoming obstacles
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines within a highly dynamic environment

Who are we?

The offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors are amongst the fast-growing, most innovative and exciting industries in the UK and are at the forefront of supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy and our fight against the climate emergency.

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult), is a leading technology innovation and research centre delivering the UK’s largest clean growth opportunity by accelerating the creation and growth of UK companies in offshore renewable energy.  With locations across the UK and in China, ORE Catapult works with industry and academia to identify, develop, prove and de-risk promising new technologies and bring them to market. It is helping to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy, supporting the growth of the industry and creating UK benefit.

Our working environment is open, inspiring and multicultural, and we provide great potential for personal and professional development.

In return, an excellent remuneration package is offered which includes attractive basic salary, pension, bonus, and subsidised health care saving scheme.

How do I apply?

If you feel you have the skills and experience to be successful in this role, please take the opportunity to review the attached job description and apply using an updated CV which showcases the skills and experience you have relevant to the role.

Thank you for your interest in Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Closing Date: 28th October 2021. ORE Catapult reserves the right to close this advertisement at any stage before the stated closing date if we feel we have received sufficient applications for this position.

Research shows that while men apply to jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria, women and other marginalised folks tend to only apply when they check every box. So, if you think you have what it takes, but don't necessarily meet every single point on the job description, please still make an application.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of race, sex, disability, religion and belief, sexual orientation, or status regarding gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

Download Job Profile

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of race, sex, disability, religion and belief, sexual orientation, or status regarding gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

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