Open Positions

Applications are requested for two fully-funded PhD positions investigating passive flow control devices for improving the performance of wind farms. This project involves an industry collaboration with a Canadian wind energy start-up, Biome Renewables. Biome has developed a range of passive flow control technologies aimed at enhancing wake mixing within on- and off-shore wind farms. To evaluate the individual and combine effects of these devices, we will conduct large eddy simulations of single wind turbines as well as arrays of turbines in a wind farm. The research will develop reduced-order models of the turbine + passive flow control to evaluate interactions of the devices within the context of individual rotor performance, impacts on the wind farm performance, and coupling with the atmospheric boundary layer. The ultimate goal is to embed sets of validated engineering models within industry-standard site assessment and wind farm layout design tools to rapidly predict the benefits/drawbacks of the passive flow control devices on the wind farm performance.

The successful applicants will performance large eddy simulations using in-house computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools based on PETSc and MPI libraries, with access to Canada’s largest supercomputers. The research will be supervised by Dr. Joshua Brinkerhoff at the UBCO CFD Lab in the UBC Okanagan School of Engineering and will be in collaboration with Drs. Alexandra Komrakova and Brian Fleck at the University of Alberta.

The position is open to students who have completed a Masters degree in mechanical, energy, or aerospace engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with interests in fluid mechanics, computational fluid mechanics (CFD), numerical simulation, parallel computing, wind energy, and/or turbomachinery are encouraged to apply. Coding experience in C/C++ and prior CFD experience is essential. Experience with machine learning techniques and model reduction methods for incompressible Navier-Stokes equations is particularly beneficial.

This opportunity is available to Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, and international applicants meeting the admission criteria for UBC Okanagan and School of Engineering. It is expected that successful candidates will commence graduate studies from September 1, 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse research team fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. Equity and diversity not only lead to a more fair and open society, but also improves the quality of the science and increases the opportunities to learn and grow from each other. Applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code—including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or Indigeneity—are especially encouraged.

Application procedure
Candidates are asked to submit:
• A cover letter describing their research interests, experience, and motivations for graduate study
• A detailed curriculum vitae highlighting their educational and professional achievements
• A list of three professional and/or academic references
• Unofficial transcripts from their Masters degree
• English test scores (if required). Applicants with degrees in a language other than English must have a minimum TOEFL score of 580 (PBT) or 92 (IBT) or IELTS minimum overall band of 6.5 (with nothing less than 6.0 per individual test)
Interested candidates should send the above documents and direct queries to Dr. Joshua Brinkerhoff (


There are other research opportunities for highly-qualified graduate students (Masters and PhD) in the Okanagan CFD Lab.

The candidate should have an undergraduate degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or equivalent. Knowledge of fluid mechanics/aerodynamics, numerical methods, and computer programming is essential. Prior exposure to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and/or experiments in fluid flows is an asset.

To apply, please send your resume/C.V. and a cover letter describing your education, research experience, and research interests via email to Prof. Joshua Brinkerhoff at

Canadian and international candidates are encouraged to apply.

Contact person and address:

Joshua Brinkerhoff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Engineering
University of British Columbia – Okanagan
3333 University Way Kelowna, BC, Canada V1V 1V7
Tel: 250-807-8238 Fax: 250-807-9850