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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Aura Centre for Doctoral Training recognised as educational beacon

(20 June 2019)

The Aura Centre for Doctoral Training has been recognised for the major step change it will make in education and training for the offshore wind industry by picking up the award in the Education category at the Humber Renewable Awards.

The EPSRC and NERC funded Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull, with academic partners Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield Universities. It integrates the core strengths of each institution in environment, engineering and energy.

The Humber Renewable Awards, which have been running eight years, shine a light on the exceptional work being carried out within the low carbon sector across both banks of the Humber, recognising success across nine categories.

Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull, said: “It’s fantastic to get this external recognition for the role we are playing in driving research and innovation, alongside developing the next generation talent and leadership for the offshore wind sector.

“The Humber is now the global centre for offshore wind and the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training will be a cornerstone of support as the industry continues to grow regionally and internationally.”

Professor Simon Hogg, Durham University lead on Project Aura said: “We are delighted that the Aura Wind Energy CDT is being recognised for the important contribution it will make to education and training for the offshore wind industry. This training will help to develop cutting edge solutions for the environmental and engineering challenges facing the offshore wind industry.”

The Aura CDT has close ties with more than 20 industry partners and plays a major role in developing the talent pipeline for the low carbon energy sector.

The first PhD cohort will join the Aura CDT in September 2020, undertaking 4-year fully funded scholarships. Students begin with a full-time, 1-year taught Postgraduate Diploma at the University of Hull before embarking on a 3 year PhD with one of the four partner academic institutions, aligned with the Aura industry partners or based at the new £12 million flagship Aura Innovation Centre.

The EPSRC and NERC funding allows for a further four annual intakes of fully funded scholarships, with the next round of recruitment taking place in Autumn 2019. For more information please visit

Durham University’s involvement in the Aura CDT includes researchers from the Engineering, Earth Sciences & Geography Departments. The University will lead 15 PhD projects through the CDT and more than 20 academics from the University are engaged in developing projects and forming supervisory teams to lead the PhD studies.

Further information

Professor Simon Hogg is the Head of Engineering at Durham and former Executive Director of DEI. He is the Durham University lead on wind energy research and Project Aura. He holds the Ørsted Chair in Renewable Energy and was the Durham University lead member on the Executive Management Team of the EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub.