COER has a further opportunity for a well-qualified applicant interested in PhD level research on a prestigious, new Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council “Pathways” wave energy project. This project follows on from the successful EU-funded LiftWEC project ( which developed fundamental cyclorotor technology. The current project is entitled:

Maximising the power capture from cyclorotor wave energy converters”.

and focuses on development of a control system to maximise power capture, with associated activities of hydrodynamic modelling and estimation/forecasting.

A tax-free stipend of €19,000 per year is available, and PhD fees are also covered. The project also provides adequate funding for equipment, materials, and travel (conferences, courses, etc), as well as secondment to project partners.  The position is tenable for a 4-year structured PhD.

Applicants should be well qualified to bachelors (H1) or master’s degree level in one of the following areas: ocean engineering, aerospace engineering, hydrodynamics, applied mathematics or control engineering. The project will be supervised by Dr. Andrei Ermakov and co-supervised by Prof. John Ringwood.  Collaborators include the Atargis Energy Corporation (US) and Hamburg University of Technology (Germany).

The project is described in more detail below:

The overall aim of the project is to provide technical and economic solutions to the existing problems faced in the design of a radically new wave energy converter concept that exploits hydrodynamic lift forces and can bring wave energy to commercial fruition in the form of a new real-time control strategy. This project is dedicated to the development of a radically new approach to the control of cyclorotors by estimation and prediction of relative foil fluid velocity for each of the individual hydrofoils. This project will accelerate the development of cyclorotor-based energy related devices (wind, tidal and wave) – and specifically for this project, the cyclorotor-based wave energy converter (WEC) through the development of a new real-time control method which will increase efficiency, increase energy extracted, and extend the lifespan of the device.

This project is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council, and the successful candidate will join a dynamic group of around 25 postdoctoral, PhD and other researchers in COER, who work on the development of ocean energy technology, with projects funded from various national and international sources. COER has a wide range of eminent industrial and academic collaborators.

Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills, mathematical ability, and programming skills. Previous experience with wave energy systems is desirable, but not a specific requirement.

The successful candidate’s work will focus mainly on:

  • The control of rotating hydrofoils and maintaining the optimal angle of attack in chaotic wave-induced motion of water particles.
  • Prediction of relative foil/fluid velocity using physics-informed machine learning techniques.
  • Estimation of the state of a cyclorotor in waves (using, for example, an Extended Kalman Filter).
  • Simulation of hydrofoil rotation in waves using hydrodynamic software (ANSYS, OpenFOAM, WAMIT, etc).
  • Estimation of the cost of renewable energy extracted from waves, using an optimally-controlled cyclorotor, in terms of levelized cost of energy (LCoE).

The PhD student will be employed on a 4-year structured PhD programme, with secondment to a project collaborator included as part of their structured training.

For further information contact Dr. Andrei Ermakov:

Successful candidates will be expected to start in January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.