Why this course?
This MSc is for ambitious engineering graduates who wish to strengthen, lead and transform the high-growth global wind energy industry.
This course offers engineering graduates the opportunity to study at one of Europe's largest and leading University power and energy technology groups - the Institute for Energy & Environment.
The Institute is home to over 200 staff and researchers conducting strategic and applied research in the key technical and policy aspects of energy systems. It also houses the UK’s only Government funded Centres for Doctoral Training in Wind & Marine Energy Systems, and Future Power Networks and Smart Grids, both of which are dedicated to pioneering research and advanced skills training.
On this course you'll develop and enhance your technical expertise of wind energy and deepen your understanding of the engineering, political and economic contexts of wind power. This course will provide you with an advanced level of knowledge to address the current and future challenges of this exciting and dynamic sector.
With links to key UK and global business and industry energy partners, you’ll have unique access to companies at the forefront of wind energy developments.
There are two semesters of compulsory and optional classes, followed by a three-month research project in a specialist area. There’s the opportunity to carry this out through our department's competitive MSc industrial internships.
The internships are offered in collaboration with selected department industry partners eg ScottishPower, Smarter Grid Solutions, SSE. You'll address real-world engineering challenges facing the partner, with site visits, access and provision of relevant technical data and/or facilities provided, along with an industry mentor and academic supervisor.
You'll have exclusive access to our extensive computing network and purpose built teaching spaces including our outdoor test facility for photovoltaics high voltage laboratory, equipped with the latest technologies including:
- LDS 6-digital partial discharge test & measurement system
- Marx impulse generators & GIS test rigs
- £1M distribution network and protection laboratory comprising a 100kVA microgrid, induction machines and programme load banks
You'll have access to the UK’s only high-fidelity control room simulation suite and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC). This is Europe’s first centre dedicated to the development and demonstration of “smart-grid” technologies.
(September to May)
Wind Turbine Control
Assignment & Professional Studies
This class will provide you with more advanced computational tools for assessing complex aspects of wind farm integration. You're introduced to complex control strategies for wind turbines and farms, and learn of the impact these have on the dynamic and transient stability of electrical systems. The design of electrical collectors and transmission schemes for onshore and offshore wind farms is also explained.
Future concepts such as offshore DC networks and smart grid technology will be examined, along with issues such as network development, voltage rise, electricity markets through an understanding of the basic electrical engineering concepts and wind power technology. Power system balancing challenges due to wind power variations and high penetration of wind power is also examined.
Power Systems & Wind Integration
The aim of this class is to provide you with support for your general academic and professional development.
You'll undertake an advanced investigation of an electronic or electrical engineering topic of your choice, to enhance your learning, and develop presentation and communication skills.
Wind Turbine Technology
This class will provide an understanding of the principles of wind turbine power generation with attention to the wind resource, rotor aerodynamics, structural design, power conversion and control.
Socio-economic issues, distributed energy resources including small scale generation, energy storage and demand management and their integration and management within power networks will also be examined.
The objectives of this class is to provide a basic understanding of the wind resource and the principal of wind turbine power conversion including:
- an introduction to rotor dynamic suitable for non-specialist engineers and scientists
- an explanation of the evolution of contemporary wind turbine technology
You'll gain sufficient understanding to outline the design and operation of multi-megawatt machines.
Choose at least three from this list
Power Electronics, Machines & Applications
Power System Design, Operation & Protection
You'll develop an understanding of the principles of common power electronic systems. You'll gain familiarity with the techniques required to analyse common power electronic circuits and learn about the basic principles behind the design of rotating electrical machines. The techniques required to analyse basic DC and AC machines will also be investigated.
You'll learn to recognise that disturbances exist within a power system substation, appreciate that these disturbances may affect electromagnetic compatibility and become competent in dealing with the implications of those disturbances.
You'll gain an understanding of the use of power electronic devices, drives and machines for given applications, specifically for electric vehicles. You'll examine the range of energy sources capable of powering ‘independent’ EVs, how these sources work, their performance and degradation issues and how to charge/fuel them.
Advanced Power System Analysis & Protection
The objective of this class is to enable you to appreciate the principles of analysis, design and protection of electrical power systems including:
- the design and operational approaches in power systems including electricity generation, transmission and distribution
- the analysis and design of transmission and distribution networks
- power flow, fault and stability calculations
- power system control including load frequency control and economic dispatch
- generation technology implications on power system design and operation.
You'll also study the main concepts related to the requirements, functions, design and operation of protection schemes for power system transmission and distribution systems. You'll gain an advanced understanding of selected protection schemes used in transmission and distribution networks.
High Voltage Technology & Electromagnetic Compatibility
This class will allow you to understand, critically analyse and assess technical requirements for power system operation, management and planning. It will enable you to carry out advanced types of power system analysis as well as understand and use results from these analyses in power system operation and planning. You'll also develop an advanced knowledge of the main concepts related to the function, design and operation of protection schemes for distribution, transmission and generation applications.
Power Electronics for Energy & Drive Control
This class will introduce you to the fundamentals of high voltage electrical insulating systems and the principles, mechanisms and characteristics of high voltage discharges in vacuum and condensed media. It will also provide you with a basic understanding of the behaviour of dielectric materials stressed with electric fields and their use in high voltage systems. You'll also gain an understanding of the principles of high voltage generation and impulse testing of the high voltage systems.
Power System Economics, Markets & Asset Management
Modern energy conversion systems rely on the integration of range of technologies including power electronics, electromechanical actuators and energy storage elements. This class will build knowledge of the building block technologies and show their application to modern energy conversion systems.
Inspection & Survey
This class will present and give an understanding of the economics, trading and pricing of electricity supply and how it is shaped by technical, commercial and regulatory considerations.
It will give you an understanding of power system economics under an environment of multiple suppliers and users, and present the challenges, technologies and value of asset management within an electricity supply industry context. You'll gain a deep appreciation of factors affecting security of supply and how it might be quantified.
Geographical Information Systems
This class provides you with an insight into ‘marine’ materials, their properties, failure and protection and an understanding of how degradation affects the life-cycle of marine and offshore structures.
Particular emphasis is on inspection and assessment of inspection results, corrosion, fatigue and fracture of steels and the corrosion properties of high-strength and stainless alloy steels.
Environmental Impact Assessment
This class provides a thorough introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
GIS are spatial databases which can handle spatial information in a far greater variety of ways than was previously possible with paper maps. By capturing, manipulating, integrating and displaying digital spatial data, a wide range of different analyses can be carried out and questions addressed.
The class covers the key theoretical principles of GIS, provides practical hands-on exercises using current state-of-the-art GIS systems, including raster (IDRISI Andes) and vector (ArcGIS) based software, and demonstrates how GIS can be used for spatial query and analysis.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) relates to the process of identifying, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, economic, cultural and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.
This class aims to provide you with an introduction to some of the methods used to predict environmental impacts and to see how these may be used to integrate environmental factors into decisions.
The class emphasises the use of EIA as a design tool and focuses on issues related to the quality of the EIA process overall and of Environmental Impact Statements in particular.
The class draws principally on the UK planning context of environmental impact assessment (also called Environmental Assessment), but also takes account of EIA experience in other countries and international organisations, together with developing international experience of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
Summer (June to September)
MSc Research Project / Internship
The aim of the research project is to provide you with an opportunity to bring your knowledge and skills together and deploy them in a significant practical investigation, using relevant engineering literature, and where relevant, initial experiments or simulations.
Learning & teaching
We use a blend of teaching and learning methods including interactive lectures, problem-solving tutorials and practical project-based laboratories. Our technical and experimental officers are available to support and guide you on individual subject material.
Each module comprises approximately five hours of direct teaching per week. To enhance your understanding of the technical and theoretical topics covered in these, you're expected to undertake a further five to six hours of self-study, using our web-based virtual learning environment (MyPlace), research journals and library facilities.
Individual modules are delivered by academic leaders, and with links to key UK and global industry energy partners, you'll have unique access to companies at the forefront of wind energy developments.
The teaching and learning methods used ensure you'll develop not only technical engineering expertise but also communications, project management and leadership skills.
You'll undertake group projects. These will help to develop your interpersonal, communication and transferable skills essential to a career in industry.
Interaction with industry is provided through our internships, teaching seminars and networking events. The department delivers monthly seminars to support students’ learning and career development. Atkins Global, BAE Systems, Iberdrola, National Grid, ScottishPower, Siemens and Rolls-Royce are just a few examples of the industry partners you can engage with during your course.
A variety of assessment techniques are used throughout the course. You'll complete at least six modules. Each module has a combination of written assignments, individual and group reports, oral presentations, practical lab work and, where appropriate, an end-of-term exam.
Assessment of the summer research project/internship consists of four elements, with individual criteria:
- Interim report (10%, 1500 – 3000 words) – The purpose of this report is to provide a mechanism for supervisors to provide valuable feedback on the project’s objectives and direction.
- Poster Presentation (15%) – A vital skill of an engineer is the ability to describe their work to others and respond to requests for information. The poster presentation is designed to give you an opportunity to practise that.
- Final report (55%) – This assesses the communication of project objectives and context, accuracy and relevant of background material, description of practical work and results, depth and soundness of discussion and conclusions, level of engineering achievement and the quality of the report’s presentation.
- Conduct (20%) - Independent study, project and time management are key features of university learning. The level of your initiative & independent thinking and technical understanding are assessed through project meetings with your supervisor and your written logbooks.
A first or upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent qualification in electronic, electrical or mechanical engineering or related discipline (physics, mechatronics, control or systems engineering) from a recognised academic institution.
Candidates whose first language is not English or who have not undertaken their undergraduate course in the UK must possess a recent UKBA-recognised English qualification.
With the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) forecasting UK/EU employment in wind energy related jobs to double to more than 500,000 by 2020, graduates of this course have excellent career prospects.
The UK electricity supply industry is currently undergoing a challenging transition driven by the need to meet the Government's binding European targets to provide 15% of the UK's total primary energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Graduates of this course have unique access to key UK and global industry energy partners, who are committed to fulfilling these UK Government targets. These companies offer a diverse range of professional and technical employment opportunities in everything from research and development, construction and maintenance, to technical analysis and project design. Companies include Siemens Energy, Sgurr Energy, DNV GL, ScottishPower Renewables and SSE.
Applications should be made online by clicking the 'Apply' button below.
You will need to supply various documents to support your application. These include:
- a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts
- proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English)
- references from two academic sources
- a copy of the photo page from your passport - this is only required if you are an international students who requires a visa to enter the UK
There is no official deadline for applications; we accept them right up until the beginning of term. However, this is a popular programme, so it is in your best interest to submit your application as soon as you can, so that you have the best chance of getting a place and securing one of the prestigious Royal College Wind Energy Scholarships.
Wind Energy Systems
Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time