2023-2024 / GCIV2182-1

Offshore Wind Structures


12h Th, 20h Proj.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Civil Engineering3 crédits 


Philippe Rigo

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents



Offshore Wind Structures (lectures given in English)

The module covers the basis for the design and analysis of offshore wind support structures (based-fixed and floating). The physics underlying wind energy extraction and offshore wind economics are first presented. The structural response of offshore wind structures subjected to dynamic loads (wind and waves) is then explored with emphasis in fatigue resistance and ultimate strength. Simplified and advanced numerical models are employed during the structural analysis of both based-fixed and floating support structures, including soil-structure interaction and dynamic coupling. Finally, a probabilistic design of wind structures is outlined encompassing the whole life cycle of the structures.

  • Wind power / Blade Element Theory (BET) / wind turbines components / site selection
  • Economic indicators: Net Present Value (NPV) / Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE)
  • Static and dynamic loads / natural frequency / structural dynamics
  • Dimensional analysis / hybrid testing
  • Airy wave theory / wave spectrum / stability / wave loads
  • Time-domain (FAST, Sesam-Bladed) & frequency-domain (simplified) structural response analyses
  • Floating wind turbines / mooring lines configurations and assessment / station-keeping
  • Numerical analysis (FEM, CFD) applied to offshore wind structures / soil-structure interaction
  • Structural reliability / offshore wind structure life cycle


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Through a deep understanding of the theory and the realization of a project, the student will be able to apply simplified as well as numerical tools to the design of offshore wind support structures. In particular:

  • He/she will have a deep understanding about the physics involved in wind energy generation
  • He/she will be able to perform an estimation of the economic viability of an offshore wind farm project
  • He/she will be able to model static/dynamic loads for the estimation of offshore wind structural response
  • He/she will be able to employ both simplified and numerical methods for the design of offshore wind structures

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, I.2, II.1, II.2, II.3, III.1, III.2, III.3, III.4, IV.1, IV.3, IV.4, IV.5, V.1, V.2, V.3, VI.1, VI.2, VI.3, VII.1, VII.2, VII.3, VII.4, VII.5, VII.6 of the MSc in civil engineering.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Good knowledge in strength of materials
Basic knowledge in Finite-element method (FEM)
Basic knowledge in programming (Matlab)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures given in a class.
The lecture is project oriented: theory comes as support to the problems/questions to be met during the project.
The professor will assist the students throughout the development of their project (design of an offshore wind support structure).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

Face to face

Recommended or required readings

  • Design of Foundations for Offshore Wind Turbines, Subhamoy Bhattacharya. John Wiley & Sons, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-119-12812-0.
  • Wind energy explained: theory, design and application. Manwell, James F., Jon G. McGowan, and Anthony L. Rogers. John Wiley & Sons, 2010. ISBN 978-0-470-01500-1.

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

Assessment based on project report and project oral presentation

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Prof RIGO Philippe and Dr PAblo MORATO
B52 , local +1/511
ph.rigo@uliege.be, Pablo Morato <pgmorato@uliege.be>
Tel 04 366 93 66

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Presentation of lecture "Offshore Wind Structures"
Presentation of lecture "Offshore Wind Structures"