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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The Center for Wind Energy Science, Technology and Research (WindSTAR) conducts wind energy research, establishes long-term partnerships within the wind industry, trains undergraduate and graduate students to perform state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research, and engages in outreach to educate K-12 students, who represent the next generation of wind industry leaders, scientists, and engineers. Its research aims to increase the production of this vital low-carbon energy source to power the energy needs in the United States and worldwide.

WindSTAR’s diverse group of scientists, engineers, and practitioners plan and execute a program of research and education focused on the design, operation, and maintenance of land-based and offshore wind energy systems for electricity production. WindSTAR aims to enhance national excellence in wind energy research and development that has direct relevance to industry, and develop a cadre of diverse undergraduate and graduate students with world-class training who will support and eventually lead in the analysis, design, manufacture, and successful operation of wind energy systems.

WindSTAR supports industrial members from a variety of sectors of the wind energy industry, including:

  • Wind turbine manufacturers.
  • Manufacturers of key components of wind turbines and wind energy systems (e.g., gearboxes, control systems, energy storage, towers, foundations, offshore platforms).
  • Suppliers of specialized ancillary equipment and consultants (e.g., meteorology, anemometry. radar systems, nondestructive inspection, structural health monitoring).
  • Services (e.g., software developers and modelers, resource assessment).
  • Wind project developers and associated industries (e.g., marine contractors, wind farms/power producers). 

Universities

  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • University of Texas, Dallas
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Center Personnel

Christopher Niezrecki
Center Director
978-934-2963
Christopher_Niezrecki@uml.edu

Mario Rotea
Site Director
972-883-2720
rotea@utdallas.edu

Patrick Drane
Assistant Director of Operations
978-934-2996
Patrick_Drane@uml.edu

Research Focus

WindSTAR’s cooperative program of research and education focuses on the following areas in wind energy:

Composites and blade manufacturing 
Next-generation materials, designs, and methods for turbine systems.

Control systems for turbines and farms 
Optimization of energy capture and load mitigation in wind turbines and farms; wind farm controls for wake management.

Energy storage and grid integration 
Storage systems toward more reliable, efficient, dispatchable and grid-friendly wind energy systems.

Foundations and towers
Higher towers, modeling and cost optimization, improved ground/soil assessments.

Structural health monitoring, nondestructive inspection, and testing
Testing, monitoring, damage detection and prognosis, and maintenance throughout the life cycle.

Wind farm modeling and measurement campaign 
Simulation capability for power production, power fluctuations, and loads; LiDAR (light detection and ranging) experimental campaigns for wind farm performance diagnostic and model validation; wind resource characterization.