Queen's University Belfast

About the Project


This project is a joint research between Institutions: Queen’s University Belfast [Madjid Karimirad] and UCD [Vikram Pakrashi] to further develop Offshore Floating Solar. The world is adopting floating solar panels more than ever. They do away with the need to acquire large tracts of land and the government policies and initiatives that support their usage. Owing to these factors, the floating solar panels market, which generated revenue of $685.2 million in 2019, is predicted to advance to $2,301.8 million by 2026. Such photovoltaic (PV) panels are fixed on top of a buoyant structure, which floats on water. On the basis of type, the industry is bifurcated into solar-tracking and stationary panels, of which the stationary bifurcation held the larger share in 2019. This is because these variants are not affected much by water currents, and they are also cheaper than solar-tracking panels. Moreover, if a panel is damaged, it is easier and more cost-effective to restructure a stationary variant. This is the reason the stationary bifurcation will keep generating the higher revenue during the forecast period (2020–2026). The floating solar panels market is also advancing on account of the increasing investments in renewable energy. Huge amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) are released into the atmosphere during the combustion of gas, crude oil, and coal at power plants for generating electricity. This has been the biggest cause of air pollution, global warming, climate change, and ozone depletion. To curb environmental degradation, sustainability initiatives aimed at utilizing cleaner sources for creating electricity are being taken. This is leading to the increasing investments in renewable technologies, including floating PV plants. Based on the capacity, the 1 to 5 MW segment is estimated to have a lucrative growth due to the growing installation of the photovoltaic systems by industrial consumers will positively impact the business growth. Rising investments by utilities and private investors towards the deployment of large-scale photovoltaic projects across various riverbeds will further complement the industry outlook. Typical offgrid connectivity. Objectives/WPs:

WP1: Creation of software-driven multi-physics model

WP2: Creation of fundamental-physics driven reduced order models

WP3: Lifetime monitoring and assessment techniques

WP4: Model updating for digital twinning by integrating developed models

WP5: Validation of digital twinning methodology for against lifetime demands

Impact: Reduced risk and reduced cost for this sharply growing sector.

Applications are welcome from candidates holding a first class or second class honours (upper) degree in (Marine, Coastal, Offshore, Mechanical and Civil Engineering) or other relevant disciplines such as (Renewable Energy, Environmental, Ocean Engineering).

The start date for this studentship will be 3 April 2023.


  • Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in ‘Civil Engineering’ at Queen’s University Belfast, School of Natural and Built Environment.
  • Please note that you are not required to upload a research proposal as part of your application. Instead, please upload your CV with a covering letter.
  • State name of lead supervisor on application form (Dr Madjid Karimirad).
  • State the intended SOURCE OF FUNDING on your application as ‘SFI, North – South Spoke
  • To apply, visit https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php (link to the QUB Direct Application Portal)

Funding Notes

This studentship is open to UK and Republic of Ireland candidates and is funded by SFI, North – South Spoke: NexSys [Science Foundation Ireland]. The value of an award includes the cost of approved fees as well as maintenance support (stipend). As an indicator, the level for 2021/2022 was £15,609.

To apply for this job please visit dap.qub.ac.uk.