PhD position on Automation of urban flow simulations with 3D City Models

PhD position on Automation of urban flow simulations with 3D City Models

Published Deadline Location
14 Feb 31 Mar Delft

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Job description

The way we shape our cities can affect the levels of pedestrian wind, pollution dispersion, and heat exposure. Thanks to the growing computational resources and the advancements in automatic reconstruction of 3D city models, Computational Fluid Dynamics models (CFD) are often used to analyse wind flows within rapidly changing urban environments. However, when performing CFD simulations, it is estimated that practitioners still spend large part of their time in reconstructing, through a semi-manual process, the input for the simulations (which include the generation of an appropriate 3D model and CFD mesh designs).

The overall goal of this PhD position is to develop a framework to automatically construct CFD simulations inputs at different levels-of-detail (to support CFD at different urban scales) and ensure that these can be directly used in an urban simulation software. The project will focus on the link between the automatic creation of 3D city models and their usability in open-source CFD libraries, specifically OpenFOAM. The PhD will have to identify critical bottlenecks that slow down this connection, and develop open-source tools to generate the appropriate CFD inputs with minimal manual interaction.

The PhD candidate will use and modify open source software in development within the 3D geoinformation group, in particular the software 3dfier ( for geometry reconstruction and OpenFOAM libraries for the urban simulations. These models should serve as input for performing predictions of wind, temperature, and dispersion in evolving cities. Low and high-fidelity fluid dynamic simulations are envisioned within the research, as well as the postprocessing of local wind and temperature measurements acquired in urban experimental campaigns.
More information at:

The project will take place in the 3D Geoinformation group under the supervision of Dr. Clara García-Sánchez and Dr. Hugo Ledoux.

The 3D Geoinformation group currently has also an open PhD position on '3D city models for energy applications' see Candidates may apply to both positions with one application (and identify their preference).


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for highly motivated candidates that hold an MSc degree (or almost completed) in aerospace engineering, civil and environmental engineering, geoinformatics/geomatics, computer science or in a related discipline. Starting date is in consultation with the candidate.
They are expected to have good programming skills, have experience with fluid dynamics, a good command of English (oral and written) and strong interest in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational geometry.
Prior experience with CFD, GIS, and programming is highly desirable.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The candidate will be appointed on a four-year contract with a go/no-go decision around Month 12 (if a no-go is given, then the contract will end). Salary start at € 2.325 and grows into € 2.972 gross per month in the fourth year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Delft University of Technology offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions.
For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme.  Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for the 30% ruling.

A PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Delft University of Technology Graduate School. The Delft University of Technology Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
Please visit for more information.


Technische Universiteit Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Architecture & the Built Environment

The faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has a leading role in education and research worldwide. The driving force behind the faculty’s success is its robust research profile combined with the passion and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is a place that is buzzing with life from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Academics and students have been working on improving the built environment with the help of a broad set of disciplines, including architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, process management, and geo-information science. The faculty works closely with other faculties, universities, private parties, and the public sector, and has an extensive network in the Netherlands as well as internationally.

The more than 100 members of the Urbanism department are united in contributing to the Urbanism mission, namely to advance, share and apply knowledge on how the built environment interacts with humans and their behaviour, and how design, planning and engineering interventions can better satisfy human and societal needs. Here ‘advance’ refers to our research, ‘share’ to our education and dissemination and ‘apply’ to our conviction that Urbanism needs to be an action-oriented, forward-looking practice. The department has a global reputation for excellence in research and education and is particularly known for the ‘Delft Approach’ that brings together the creativity of design with academic research methods. This integral urbanism enjoys high international esteem in professional practice, research and education.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • BK2020/03


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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