Meet the Future Wei Fu

Meet the Future - Wei Fu

Tuesday 20 Oct 20


Wei Fu
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy
+45 93 51 05 11
From the Beijing Institute of Technology to a small start-up company in Stuttgart and then to DTU. PhD student Wei Fu has achieved a lot at the age of 27, and she has only just begun her PhD at DTU Wind Energy.

Wei Fu's voice is happy and welcoming as she picks up the phone. We are going to talk about her PhD studies in the Section for Meteorology and Remote Sensing and about life as a new PhD student at DTU Wind Energy, in general.

Wei Fu says that she comes from Beijing in China, where she has a background in aerospace engineering. Around four years ago her interest brought her to the University of Stuttgart in Germany. There she worked with lidar measurements and soon she became interested in the field of wind energy. After completing her master's education in Stuttgart, she continued her work with lidars in a small start-up company that offers control solutions for wind turbines. The company is run by passionate PhDs from the university, and here Wei Fu found out that she wanted to embark on a PhD. Her employer in the company, who was her supervisor at the university, too, showed her a PhD call from DTU Wind Energy, which immediately caught Wei Fu's interest. She knew DTU well, and her enthusiasm was - and is - unmistakable: "DTU Wind Energy has a leading position in research in wind energy - and I think DTU is the dream university to every student, who wants to pursue advanced studies in this field", says Wei Fu. She got the PhD position and started as a PhD student in April 2020 in the Section for Meteorology and Remote Sensing at DTU Wind Energy with senior researcher Alfredo Peña as her supervisor. She is connected to the project MSCA LIKE, where young researchers are trained in laser-based wind measurement technologies and their translation into industrial applications.

Wei Fu’s research in the inflow of wind turbines

What is your PhD project about?
Wei Fu enthusiastically tells that in her PhD project she is characterizing the atmospheric turbulence from lidar measurements, which are mounted on the top of wind turbines. Her interest mainly lies within inhomogeneous turbulence inflow, which is the wind that some modern wind turbines are facing, e.g. flow under wake conditions, flow interacting with very large wind turbines, and flow covering a large vertical span.

Where do you imagine your research could be used?
Wei Fu explains that generally, her wind field characteristics would lead to a better understanding about the inflow. Thus, she imagines that her results could be useful in two contexts: Firstly, the description of the spatial distribution of the wind speed variations could be used for improving wind turbine control strategies, for example in the scheduling of the individual pitch controller and further reduction of the asymmetrical loads due to the uneven wind speed variation across the rotor disc. Secondly, the results could be used for so-called wake modeling, which are computer models that describe the decelerated flow after a wind turbine. In addition, her PhD project will produce an optimized scanning geometry of nacelle lidars for probing inhomogeneous inflow. Wei Fu tells that she is trying to find out the trade-off between the accuracy of load estimation and the cost of the lidar instrument. Consequently, the results of her project would be interesting to lidar manufacturers and wind farm operators.

The company culture at DTU Wind Energy

Asked how she thrives and experiences the culture at the department, Wei Fu answers: “I received a warm welcome in the section. There is a good atmosphere and an open environment, and because I am in a small section with 15-20 colleagues, it is easy to talk to each other", she says and continues: "There are also other PhD students in the section with whom I collaborate on the project. It is good to have someone to share your worries with and learn new things together with”.
The balance between the number of female and male employees is good in MES, and that is important for Wei Fu. "Half of the senior researchers in the section are women, and I'm happy about that", she says.

Do you have any good advice for the upcoming PhD students here at the department?
“Even if you have your doubts about whether you are completely ready to start the project, you should do it anyway, if you have got the interest. The supervisor is there and always gives you good advice. You will learn to get into the world of research and to work the “learning by doing”-way. It is an exciting journey. If you are interested, just go for it", Wei Fu concludes.

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