Wind Energy Job Posting: Investigation of the impact of complex terrain on the aerodynamics and loads of wind turbines

January 12, 2024 /

The Institute of Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics (IAG) at the University of Stuttgart has a vacancy for PhD Position with remuneration as a full-time contract in the TV-L EG13 bracket.
[Picture: Pascal Weihing, IAG]

Task description

With the ongoing development of renewable energies, a significant expansion of onshore wind energy is planned. Sites in hilly and forested terrain are increasingly targeted for wind farms. This complex terrain orography has a significant influence on the local atmospheric wind field and thus the loads, yield and noise emissions of wind turbines at these sites. Engineering models currently used industrially for load and yield calculations cannot represent these situations with sufficient accuracy, and this can lead to erroneous predictions. There is thus a need for further development and validation of numerical CFD-based methods for more accurate prediction as well as for the study of the complex interactions between wind field, the wind turbine and their wake.

The IAG is a member of the WindForS research network, whose research focus is wind energy in complex terrain. WindForS partners have initiated a major research initiative in which federal and state funding is being used to advance the construction of a test field in complex terrain. As part of this effort, two instrumented research turbines are being erected and detailed measurements of the local wind fields including deformations of the turbines are planned. This test field will be used in further research projects, including the MERIDIONAL European collaborative project, in the framework of which this position is to be filled at the IAG.

In the wind energy working group of the IAG, a CFD-based multidisciplinary simulation environment using the FLOWer code has been developed. It allows a detailed study of the aerodynamics, aeroelasticity and aeroacoustics of wind turbines. In particular, interactions of a turbulent atmospheric inflow with wind turbines will be investigated. Complex terrain orography, buildings or vegetation can be investigated. This simulation chain will be used within Meridional to study local turbulent wind fields in complex terrain as well as fluid-structure interactions (FSI). Similarly, the influence of complex terrain and the influence of local atmospheric turbulence on the characteristics of the turbine wake will be studied. Measurement data from field measurements will be available to validate the simulations. The work builds on many years of specific research at the IAG. For more information on the content of the work, please contact Dr. Thorsten Lutz.


Prerequisite is a very good MSc degree in a technical or scientific field of study with sound knowledge in fluid mechanics, aerodynamics and CFD application including mesh generation.

The following skills will be considered an asset to the candidate

  • Experience with CFD and HPC
  • Knowledge of wind energy or aeronautics
  • Software Development (Python, Fortran, Scripting)
  • Finite volume mesh generation
  • Work in research projects and consortia
  • Atmospheric inflow and terrain interaction
  • Turbulence and meteorological phenomena
  • Validation of numerical models
  • International experience
  • Knowledge of German language.


Institute of Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics (IAG)

Application deadline

10 Febr. 2024

Salary (in €)

Verg. Gr. TV-L EG13

Starting date

 As soon as possible

Selection process

The University of Stuttgart seeks to increase the number of women in areas, where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore expressly encouraged to apply. Full-time positions are generally divisible. Severely handicapped people are given priority if they have the same aptitude. Recruitment is carried out by the central administration. The University of Stuttgart strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. Work from remote is allowed 3 days per week, when compatible with the responsibilities of the project and of the institute. Project can
start immediately.

Questions about the project should be directed to:

Team Leader Wind Energy
Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Lutz

How to apply:

Applications should contain a cover letter, a resume with a list of publications and digital or scanned academic
transcripts from bachelor and master degrees. Bundle everything into a single PDF document.

Please send applications to:

Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Lutz (

Institut für Aerodynamik und Gasdynamik
Universität Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 21
70550 Stuttgart

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