Aura is a collaboration between major companies in the offshore wind industry, leading academic institutions and government and non-governmental organisations. It aims to act as a catalyst for collaboration and innovation to support the sector’s growth. The Aura partners’ vision is to create a world leading offshore wind research, talent and innovation hub supporting the developing offshore wind sector towards sustainability, establishing it as a vibrant industry in the Humber – the UK’s Energy Estuary, for the benefit of the region and the country.
Aura collaboration partners:
- University of Hull (lead)
- Durham University
- Sheffield University
- Humber LEP
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
- ORE Catapult
- HCF Catch
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.
Durham’s involvement in the Aura CDT goes beyond the Engineering Department including researchers from the Earth Sciences & Geography Departments, led by Prof Peter Talling. 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.
EPSRC Prosperity Partnership project ‘A new Partnership in Offshore Wind’ was the first major EPSRC project success by the Project Aura consortium. This five-year programme launched in 2018 is led by Sheffield University. The project includes twenty PhD level projects spread across the academic partners. Six of these are collaborations involving Durham University and Ørsted. The projects range from research to reduce O&M costs through better health monitoring techniques for electrical and mechanical drivetrain components and better remote inspection techniques, to a project to develop advanced anchoring technologies for offshore structures. The research is helping to increase the reliability of wind farms and lower the costs of wind energy.