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Stellenausschreibung / Job advertisement

In the research group Wind Energy Systems, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Institute of Physics at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, there is a vacant PhD position starting as soon as possible for a

Research Assistant (f/m/d)

(Salary according to TV-L E13, 75%)

The research focus will be on

Lidar-based reconstruction of rotor flow wind fields of wind turbines

The design and operation of future large wind turbines require an in-depth understanding of the interaction between the rotor and the turbulent wind in the atmosphere. To this end, we will scan the entire wind field in front of, at and close behind two multi-megawatt wind turbines with a high spatial and temporal resolution, using the laser-based scanning technique lidar (light detection and ranging).

Our two short-range WindScanners are continuous-wave Doppler wind lidars. They remotely measure the wind speed component along the beam direction (line-of-sight wind speed) at several hundred positions each second. A wind field can be reconstructed using these point measurements and additional meteorological information. In this project, particular focus will lie on wind field reconstructions using novel stochastic methods, which consider statistical features of small-scale turbulence. Finally, concurrent load measurements can derive the interaction between the inflow wind field and the wind turbine response. For validation, the WindScanners can also be operated in the wind tunnel, where user-defined turbulence and gust patterns can be reproduced. Furthermore, virtual lidar measurements can be performed in simulated three-dimensional flow fields to verify the analysis algorithms.

Job Description

The main objective of the PhD project is to further develop methodologies for combining measurements from multiple short-range Doppler lidars into turbulent wind fields. A secondary goal is analysing the relationship between these reconstructed wind fields and the wind turbine rotor loads and dynamics for various atmospheric conditions.

Among others, the job will comprise:

  • conducting free-field measurement campaigns with the WindScanners
  • processing large amounts of wind field data by combining lidar measurements with meteorological information, possibly flow models, and wind turbine load data
  • wind field reconstruction and modelling (incl. uncertainty analysis) for a variety of atmospheric conditions
  • identification of turbulence structures with high relevance for the turbine loading
  • active collaborating with the Lidar & Wakes team (6 PhDs and Postdocs), the Turbulence, Wind Energy and Stochastics group and project partners
  • exchanging scientific results at meetings and conferences 

Job Offer

The research and experiments will be conducted closely with other research groups at ForWind, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the wind turbine manufacturer ENERCON. The PhD project aims to visit an international research institute (e.g., the Technical University of Denmark or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the USA) for several months. Furthermore, the candidate will be given opportunities to actively improve personal, scientific, and teaching skills through an individual training programme. The dissertation is to be composed of articles in international scientific journals. The employment is initially limited to three years with an intention for further prolongation up to four years to facilitate a PhD.

Candidate Profile

The prerequisite is a qualifying university degree (diploma or master) in Physical Sciences, Meteorology, Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering, Wind Energy or a similar field. The successful candidate is required to have:

  • aptitude and willingness to pursue a PhD which combines experimental research and analytical modelling in fluid dynamics
  • profound knowledge of at least two of the following three fields: experimental/numerical fluid dynamics, statistical analysis of large data amounts, measurement techniques (Lateral entrants with strong analytical capabilities and experimental experience are encouraged to participate in the application process.)
  • extensive experience in programming with at least MATLAB or Python
  • motivation and ability to effectively collaborate with a diverse and international team of researchers
  • fluently spoken and written English 

International experience gained during high school or university studies and German language capabilities are a plus.

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increase the percentage of female employees in the field of science. Therefore, female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. In accordance with § 21 Section 3 NHG, female candidates with equal qualifications will be preferentially considered. Disabled applicants will be given preference in case of equal qualification. Further, the university cares for a family-friendly working environment and offers a family service centre and children's daycare on campus.

Research environment at ForWind – University of Oldenburg

Wind energy research at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg has gained international recognition by its integration into ForWind – Center for Wind Energy Research of the Universities of Oldenburg, Hannover and Bremen and into the national Wind Energy Research Alliance of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) and ForWind.

At ForWind we maintain and value collaboration with partner institutions such as the members of the European Academy of Wind Energy as well as within our individual research groups. In Oldenburg, our 50 researchers from the fields of physics, meteorology and engineering are collaborating at the »Research Laboratory for Turbulence and Wind Energy Systems« centred on wind physics. Our mission is to develop the improved understanding of atmospheric and wind power plant flow physics required to serve the global demand for clean and affordable electricity. Therefore, we conduct laboratory experiments, free-field measurements and HPC-based numerical simulations. Main topics include the description and modelling of wind turbulence, the analysis of interactions of turbulent atmospheric wind flow and wind energy systems, as well as control of wind turbines and wind farms. The covered scales range from small-scale turbulence up to meteorological phenomena. Our research facilities comprise three turbulent wind tunnels, various equipment for free-field measurements at on- and offshore wind farms and a high-performance computing cluster. Our multi-lidar systems, equipped with up to three scanning lidars, are particularly important for the research mentioned above.


In case of questions regarding this job offer, please contact Prof. Dr. Martin Kühn (, URL,

Applications should preferably be submitted electronically as one PDF file containing all materials in English or German. Please include reference #UN74 and submit your documents no later than 18.10.2022 to .

The pdf file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Employment references
  • A one-page research statement. The applicants are requested to present their notion of the field of the advertised PhD topic and some initial ideas to tackle it. Alternatively, a more general problem of interest in experimental fluid dynamics or wind energy utilisation might be addressed.

An optional attachment is a second PDF file containing the final thesis of the studies or relevant research papers (if available).


(Stand: 16.09.2022)