Dr Alasdair McDonald is a senior lecturer at the EPSRC Wind and Marine Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training based in the Wind Energy and Control Centre, Institute for Energy and Environment, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde. His research interests are centred on electrical generators and their application to renewable energy, especially wind turbine powertrains.
He studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Durham in 2004 and completed a PhD at the Institute of Energy Systems at the School of Engineering & Electronics at the University of Edinburgh in 2008. Subsequently Alasdair worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Edinburgh on a number of projects on direct-drive generators for wind and marine energy. In 2009, he co-founded the spin-out company NGenTec to commercialise their research of a novel air-cored generator for wind. Dr McDonald was Chief Engineer at the company in 2010-2012, during which time the company designed, built and tested a 1MW demonstrator. Alasdair has worked as a consultant on the design of permanent magnet generators for direct-drive wind turbines.
His research interests include:
• Wind turbine powertrain design and modelling for low cost of energy
• Design of electrical generators, especially low speed, permanent magnet machines for renewables.
• Structural analysis and optimisation of direct drive generators
• Reliability engineering of wind turbines with a focus on offshore wind turbine powertrains
• Condition monitoring and remaining useful life predictions of wind turbine powertrains
• The use of parallel and modular powertrains to increase availability
At Strathclyde he is course director for the MSc in Wind Energy Systems and Training Manager for the EPSRC Wind and Marine Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training. He is PI of the UK-China MOD-CORE project.