27 April 2021
by IOM3 Training Academy

Materials and Structural Integrity Challenges for Offshore Wind Energy Systems

Improving materials to provide longer service, fewer inspections and reduced operational costs.

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Engineering Structural Integrity Series

We are delighted to be working with FESI (Forum on Engineering Structual Integrity) to host a series of lectures highlighting the importance engineering structural integrity to a variety of sectors.   


This lecture in our series investigating this multi-disciplinary field, delivered by Professor Feargal Brennan of Strathclyde University and Dr Ali Mehmanparast from Cranfield University,  focusses on the materials and structural integrity challenges facing the offshore wind industry.


An efficient source of renewable energy, which is increasingly the preferred solution for realising Britain’s short- and long-term energy ambitions, is offshore wind. While Britain is presently the global leader in offshore wind energy, the national target set by the UK government to increase the currently installed offshore wind capacity from approximately 10 GW in 2020 to 40 GW in 2030 demonstrates the strategic importance of this clean source of energy in the UK’s energy mix.

The rapid expansion of the offshore wind capacity will not only escalate UK’s position in this emerging market, but will also significantly contribute to the UK’s world-leading net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. Offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are typically designed for 20-25 years of operation. One of the main challenges in the design and life assessment of OWTs is the evolution of corrosion-fatigue damage due to the constant exertion of wind, wave and current forces in the highly corrosive environments. The aim of this talk is to present the materials and structural integrity challenges associated with the currently installed and future generation of OWTs, with the view to maximise the operational life, reduce the number of frequent inspections and deliver a direct beneficial impact on Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs.

Meet your speakers - Prof Feargal Brennan and Dr Ali Mehmanparast

Prof Feargal Brennan is the Director of the Offshore Engineering Institute, and Head of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering Department at University of Strathclyde. He is a leading authority on the development and assessment of offshore Oil & Gas installations and renewables including wind, wave and tidal stream. Prof Brennan is the director of the REMS CDT, research director of the Supergen ORE Hub and was the technical lead of the SLIC JIP. He, has for twenty-five years, been at the forefront of internationally leading research in structural integrity and its application to ships, offshore renewables and the oil & gas sector.


Dr Ali Mehmanparast (PhD, MBA, CEng, CMgr) is a Senior Lecturer in Structural Integrity at Cranfield University. He has won and led research projects for the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, EPSRC-funded Supergen Wind and Supergen ORE Hubs and the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) Programme. He is the Co-I and Manager of the REMS CDT and participated in the SLIC JIP as a member of the technical delivery team.


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These activities are approved for Professional Development by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining.


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