Dr Alasdair McDonald

Reader

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Personal statement

Dr Alasdair McDonald is a Reader at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems based in the Wind Energy and Control Centre, Institute for Energy and Environment, Department of Electronic & Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Strathclyde. His research interests are centred on electrical generators and their application to renewable energy, especially wind turbine powertrains.

He studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Durham in 2004 and completed a PhD at the Institue for Energy Systems at the School of Engineering & Electronics at the University of Edinburgh in 2008. Subsequently Alasdair worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Edinburgh on a number of projects on direct-drive generators for wind and marine energy. In 2009, he co-founded the spin-out company NGenTec to commercialise their research of a novel air-cored generator for wind. Dr McDonald was Chief Engineer at the company in 2010-2012, during which time the company designed, built and tested a 1MW demonstrator. Alasdair has worked as a consultant on the design of permanent magnet generators for direct-drive wind turbines.

At Strathclyde he is course director for the MSc in Wind Energy Systems and Academic Training Manager for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems. He is PI of the UK-China EPSRC-NERC-NSFC MOD-CORE project and a Co-I on the EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Research hub and a Co-I on the H2020 ELEMENT project.

Publications

A review of wind turbine main-bearings : design, operation, modelling, damage mechanisms and fault detection
Hart Edward, Clarke Benjamin, Nicholas Gary, Kazemi Amiri Abbas, Stirling James, Carroll James, Dwyer-Joyce Rob, McDonald Alasdair, Long Hui
Wind Energy Science Vol 5, pp. 105-124 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-5-105-2020
Optimisation of design and operation of generators for offshore vertical axis wind turbines
Argent Michael, McDonald Alasdair, Giles Alexander
Wind Energy Vol 22, pp. 1324-1342 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1002/we.2359
Optimization of offshore direct drive wind turbine generators with consideration of permanent magnet grade and temperature
Bhuiyan Nurul Azim, McDonald Alasdair
IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion Vol 34, pp. 1105-1114 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1109/TEC.2018.2879442
Thermal modelling of a small wind turbine gearbox for condition monitoring
Corley Becky, Carroll James, McDonald Alasdair
The Journal of Engineering Vol 2019, pp. 5335-5339 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1049/joe.2018.9282
Wind turbine gearbox condition monitoring : experimental validation of a thermal network model
Corley B, Carroll J, McDonald A S
Wind Energy Science conference 2019 (2019)
Comparison of anomaly detection techniques for wind turbine gearbox SCADA data
Mckinnon C, Carroll J, McDonald A, Koukoura S, Soraghan C
Wind Energy Science conference 2019 (2019)

more publications

Teaching

I enjoy teaching the following courses:

  • Renewable Energy Technologies (EE317, to 3rd year Electronic and Electrical Engineers)
  • Power Electronics for Energy and Drive Control (Design of Permanent Magnet Machines part of the EE575/975 course, to 5th year Undergraduates and MSc students)
  • Wind Turbine Technology (to MSc students as part of the EE989 module)
  • Nacelle Mechanical and Electrical Technologies in Offshore Renewable Energy (to 1st year students in the EPSRC CDT in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures)

I incorporate real world examples, industrial design  and modelling approaches/tools and elements of research into my teaching. I also deliver Continuous Professional Development (CPD) teaching to industry on Renewable Energy and Electrical Machines.

My teaching roles include:

  • Academic Training Programme Manager, EPSRC CDT in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures
  • Director of the MSc in Wind Energy Systems
  • 4th and 5th Year Advisor of Studies, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programme

 

Research interests

Research interests include:

  • Wind turbine powertrain design and modelling for low cost of energy
  • Design of electrical generators, especially low speed, permanent magnet machines for renewables.
  • Structural analysis and optimisation of direct drive generators
  • Reliability engineering of wind turbines with a focus on offshore wind turbine powertrains
  • The use of parallel and modular powertrains to increase availability

He is based in the Wind Energy and Control Centre and works in the EPSRC Wind and Marine Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training 

Professional activities

European Academy of Wind Energy (External organisation)
Member
2019
Sergio Martín-Martínez
Host
1/6/2018
Seifeddine Benelghali
Host
2018
13th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (Event)
Editorial board member
2018
UK & China Centre Offshore Renewable Energy (External organisation)
Member
2017
Estefania Artigao
Host
2017

more professional activities

Projects

Future electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub (EPSRC Manufacturing Research Hub)
Kazemi Amiri, Abbas (Researcher) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator) Miscandlon, Jill (Researcher)
01-Jan-2019
ELEMENT (Effective Lifetime Extension in the Marine Environment for Tidal Energy)
McDonald, Alasdair (Principal Investigator) Yue, Hong (Principal Investigator) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator) Payne, Gregory (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2022
ELEMENT (Effective Lifetime Extension in the Marine Environment for Tidal Energy)
McDonald, Alasdair (Principal Investigator) Yue, Hong (Principal Investigator) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator) Payne, Gregory (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2022
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures
Carroll, James (Principal Investigator) Leithead, Bill (Principal Investigator) Leithead, Bill (Principal Investigator) Brennan, Feargal (Co-investigator) Brennan, Feargal (Co-investigator) Carroll, James (Co-investigator) Carroll, James (Co-investigator) Jamieson, Peter (Co-investigator) Kolios, Athanasios (Co-investigator) Kolios, Athanasios (Co-investigator) Leithead, Bill (Co-investigator) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2027
Future electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub (EPSRC Manufacturing Research Hub)
Ward, Michael (Principal Investigator) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2022
KTP - Turner Iceni
Carroll, James (Principal Investigator) McDonald, Alasdair (Co-investigator) McMillan, David (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2021

more projects

Address

Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Royal College Building

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