Awarded for work in wind energy
Tonio Sant from the University of Malta's Department of Mechanical Engineering has won an international award for his work in the field of wind energy.
He was presented with the Excellent Young Wind Doctor Award 2008 during the European Wind Energy Conference held in Brussels. This award is given by the European Wind Energy Academy, which is the academic arm of the European Wind Energy Association. It was granted for the first time this year to recognise recently graduated PhD students.
The PhD work was a four-year collaboration in wind energy research between the University of Malta and Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. The PhD studies were supported by the Staff Development and Recruitment Office of the University of Malta. Dr Sant's research focused on obtaining a better understanding of the complex aerodynamic behaviour of wind turbines operating under different conditions, with the aim of improving the reliability of design software used in the wind energy industry.
Experimental data from wind tunnel tests on model turbines were investigated, including that from a 10-metre-diameter rotor tested in the Nasa Ames wind tunnel by engineers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US. To enable more detailed analysis of complex aerodynamic phenomena, new analytical methodologies were developed in this research to be able to compensate for the limitations in the experimental data.