Postdoc in Bearing failures under wind turbine load conditions

DTU Vindenergi
fredag 03 nov 17

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Frist 1. december 2017
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The Department of Wind Energy at the Technical University of Denmark seeks a 2-year postdoc within “Bearing failures under wind turbine load conditions” for the section Wind Turbines Structures and Component Design (SAC).

DTU Wind Energy is a mission-driven university department with a vision to be the preferred university partner for the global wind energy sector. The department creates value for society through integration of research with education, innovation and research-based consultancy within key fields central to the development and use of wind energy.

The Section for Wind Turbine Structures and Component Design focuses on the design and prediction of the structural response of wind turbines and their components. The research and innovation activities deal with loads and their dependence on environmental conditions, structural design and testing, and methods to quantify reliability and operational lifetime. Our research and innovation is generally implemented in cooperation with industry.

The specific research topic is wind turbine drive train bearing investigations of the White Etching Crack (WEC) bearing failure mode. Your work will focus on using laboratory bearing tests rigs for replicating WEC tests and providing metallurgical failure analysis of those bearings. The position will be part of a larger project aimed at finding preventive measures for the WEC bearing failure mode in wind turbines.

Responsibilities and tasks
This position requires the candidate to be responsible for running laboratory scale bearing test rigs for provoking WEC bearing test rigs. Your research will include using different settings for provoking WEC such as measured wind turbine bearing loads and different bearing materials to be tested for WEC susceptibility, including newly developed WEC resistant steels. The candidate is also expected to perform characterization of WEC damage using electron microscopy and advanced 3D X-ray tomography for investigating the WEC formation mechanism. You will be tasked with creating 3D maps of WEC networks and crack interaction with inclusions, which will be used as input for fracture modelling.

The work performed by the candidate will be part of a larger project aimed at finding preventive measures for the WEC bearing failure mode in wind turbines. Within DTU, the candidate is expected to cooperate with other research groups working within wind turbine load simulations, materials development and fracture modelling. The project includes turbine, bearing and material treatment companies, as well as other research groups in Germany and USA. The candidate is encouraged to further develop both internal and external research collaboration and initiate new collaborations with the wind energy industry.

A PhD or equivalent in mechanical engineering, materials science or a similar discipline is required. Applicants should have excellent analytical skills and the ability to work both independently and in a team towards the research goals. A strong mechanical background is preferred, along with a background in one or more of the following disciplines:

  • Rolling Contact Fatigue or similar
  • Tribology or similar
  • Metallurgy or similar

Flexibility and self-motivation are desired skills at DTU, as well as a natural interest in collaboration and personal responsibility. The successful candidate will preferably have the following personal competences:

  • Fluent in English, written and spoken
  • Motivated by both personal and team accomplishments
  • An understanding that reflection and personal development is vital to innovation
  • Focus on processes and development as much as on results

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 2 years, starting in early 2018.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The workplace is DTU Risø Campus, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Hilmar K. Danielsen at

You can read more about DTU Wind Energy at

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 1 December 2017 (Local time)

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications 
Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
The Department of Wind Energy is one of the world’s largest centres of wind energy research and knowledge, with a staff of more than 240 people from 37 countries working in research, innovation, research-based consulting and education. DTU Wind Energy has approximately 40 PhD students. The department’s cross-disciplinary research is organized through strategic research programmes that collaborate with Danish and international universities, research institutions and organizations, as well as the wind industry.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.