PhD / Postdoc position on Regional Climate Modelling of Wind Resources

KU Leuven, Belgium
Closing date: 31 August 2020

Wind energy resources are planned to be an important component in the transition to a carbon-neutral society. However, current planning tools do not account for climate variations over time scales of years to decades even though recent estimates for Belgium show an impact on wind resources in the order of 10%. The turbine choice is an important factor in the magnitude of the impact, which indicates that project developers can mitigate potential impact on lifetime resource by their turbine choice. For planning purposes, it is therefore essential to improve lifetime resource estimates including the uncertainty estimates. The PhD addresses this, using climate and mesoscale modelling at high spatial resolutions (3km and 0.3km). You will work with the model CCLM, developed by the Climate Limited-area Modeling-Community of which KU Leuven is a core member. KU Leuven is actively involved in the development of the model and has extensive experience in applying the model for atmospheric and climate research. You will work on dynamical downscaling of existing output from global circulation models for the period present-2050. Moreover, you will develop and apply novel methods to take into account feedbacks between wind farms and the atmosphere on smaller scales than 3 km, using model integrations at a resolution of 0.3 km together with a weather typing approach. The ultimate goal is the generation of an ensemble of 30-year predictions of wind farm yield for the North-Sea region using CCLM. The resulting dataset is made available through the dedicated FREEWIND web portal.<

Candidates have a master degree (at the start of their contract) in one of the following or related fields: earth- and environmental sciences (geography, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, bioscience engineering, etc.), fluid mechanics, physics, mathematics, informatics or civil engineering. You should have a good background or interest in programming (Fortran, C/C++, MATLAB, Python, …). Proficiency in English is a requirement. The position adheres to the European policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender.

The PhD position lasts for the duration of four years, and is carried out at the University of Leuven. During this time, the candidate also takes up a limited amount (approx. 10% of the time) of teaching activities. The remuneration is generous and is in line with the standard KU Leuven rates. It consists of a net monthly salary of about 2000 Euro (in case of dependent children or spouse, the amount can be somewhat higher). Ideal start time is October 1st 2020, but earlier / later starting dates can be negotiated.
In exceptional case, applications for Postdoctoral researcher can be considered.


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