PhD opportunity: Reliability of Wireless Sensor Networks for Marine Renewable Energy Platforms

This position has been filled and is no longer available

The SFI-funded Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) involves researchers in University College Cork, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, University College Dublin, NUI Maynooth  and Cork Institute of Technology, along with 47 companies, into a national effort to further the development of marine renewable energy. MaREI will apply fundamental science to problems of major importance to the marine renewable industry and other stakeholders in the context of Irish and European energy needs.

As part of its participation the MaREI Centre, The Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research at Cork Institute of Technology offers a PhD research opportunity in the area of marine wireless sensor networks and, in particular, reliable data collection for marine renewable energy platforms.

Wireless networks of embedded sensors (MRE-WSN’s) can allow fine grain collection of electrical, mechanical and environmental data to support the deployment, maintenance, safety and security of MRE devices. Such data, in form of real-world measured distributions of reliability stresses, are also invaluable for improving the reliability and performance of new MRE device designs. However, to be able to depend on continuous collection of reliable data, the MRE-WSN’s must themselves display a high level of reliability. This is particularly challenging in the marine environment due to the harsh environmental stresses on the electronic systems, the effects of changing weather conditions on wireless propagation both within the network and to shore, and the large number of sensor nodes that may be deployed over a large geographical area in a large MRE installation. This research will therefore focus on development of a design for reliability (DfR) methodology – based on combined models for physical, network and propagation reliability – to design and deployment of MRE-WSN’s that will be robust and deliver reliable data in the face of hardware, network and communications deterioration or failures.

The project will be jointly supervised by Dr. John Barrett and Dr. Dirk Pesch, both highly experienced researchers and PhD supervisors.

The expected PhD duration is four years, subject to satisfactory progress and continuation of project funding, with an associated student scholarship of up to €16,000 p.a., including travel, equipment and fees (EU fees only: non-EU applicants will be required to self-fund the difference of approximately €5,000 p.a. between EU fees and full economic fees).

Applicants should be qualified to at least Level 8 (Honours four-year Bachelor degree or higher) in energy systems, electronics, wireless technology, networking, or in related disciplines. Previous project or other experience in topics relevant to the research area will be an advantage. Detailed CVs including all academic qualifications and results, work experience and details of any experience relevant to the research area should be emailed to john.barrett(at)


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