PhD openings in Marine and Fluvial Systems group

PhD openings in Marine and Fluvial Systems group

Published Deadline Location
15 Dec 28 Feb Enschede

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Job description

The Marine and Fluvial Systems group, part of the Civil Engineering department, investigates primarily physical processes in coastal and river systems in the context of societal needs (such as flood safety and freshwater availability) as well as for economical needs (such as navigation, pipeline and cable trajectories). The challenges in these fields are rapidly increasing with evolving, and uncertain developments in the climate (linking to e.g. rate of sea level rise, wind climate, extreme river discharges, fresh water availability, drought). Moreover, society is changing rapidly (the energy transition stimulating e.g. offshore wind farm development and coastal urbanisation which makes us more and more dependent on reliable natural flood defenses such as dunes next to as hard river and sea dikes). Giving the integral nature of the challenges, we often connect to other disciplines such as mathematics, ecology (vegetated foreshores), geotechnics and governance-related sciences.

A diverse and multidisciplinary team of professors and researchers aims to improve understanding of these (physical) processes so that we can use this knowledge for dealing with the water management problems. Nature-based solutions and dealing with (future) uncertainties are important parts of our research. We use a wide range of research methods including idealised and numerical modelling techniques, laboratory and field experiments, analysis of monitoring data including satellite information to tackle issues at different spatial scales (i.e. local, regional and global) and temporal scales (i.e. short vs long duration).

A general description of a PhD-trajectory in the Marine and Fluvial Systems group is given in We offer a very collaborative atmosphere and you will benefit from our broad knowledge and experience. A team of well-known professors in the field ( will supervise you in this position.

We expect in 2021 openings for PhD positions on modelling river hydraulics for high and low flows; aeolian sediment transport on the sand grain scale; global land motion, sea level rise and coastal flooding; modelling offshore sand waves; vegetated foreshore stability under extreme conditions (experimental and modelling).

This is a general and open call for PhD applications. We normally have open PhD positions available through the year, however we do not always list every open position separately. Selected candidates can start their PhD project anytime during the academic year.

Since we will invest a lot of our time in your education, development and career, we have to be very selective in our admission process for PhD students.


University of Twente (UT)


  • MSc degree in Civil Engineering, Environmental Fluid Dynamics, Applied Mathematics, or a related discipline.
  • Knowledge of, or strong affinity with, river/coastal/offshore systems.
  • Sound programming skills for numerical modelling and/or data analysis (e.g Python, Matlab, R, other).*
  • Experience with mathematical physical modelling and/or hydraulic modelling and/or discrete element method software (e.g. using software Delft3D, HEC-RAS, SOBEK, OpenFoam, LAMMPS).*
  • Experience with experimental/observational studies, including quantitative satellite remote sensing/earth observation and image processing, or laboratory/field experiments.*
  • Your organizational skills are good. You are enthusiastic, independent and you have a problem solving attitude.
  • Willing to contribute to teaching in the Civil Engineering educational BSc and MSc program and to supervise MSc student graduation project.
  • Your writing skills are good – you have written scientific papers.
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written (IELTS >= 6.5 or equivalent).
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.

you should at least fulfil one out of these three, preferably more, please indicate this in your CV.

Conditions of employment

  • Four-year fulltime PhD position, with a qualifier exam after 6-9 months.
  • Tailor-made educational/development program of at least 6 months (30EC), including visits to conferences and summer/winter schools.
  • Excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits.
  • Starting salary of € 2.395 gross per month in the first year and increasing to € 3.061  gross per month in the fourth year.
  • Annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.

We generally organise our PhD-positions to be part of a larger project, including a user group consisting of consultants (e.g. HKV, Arcadis, RHDHV, Witteveen+Bos), contractors (Boskalis, Van Oord), policy makers (Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagment, water boards) and experts from knowledge institutes (e.g. Deltares, NIOZ). The projects include often more PhD-positions, either at the University of Twente or at Dutch partner universities. These project groups meet about twice a year and often collaborations are established (e.g an internship, joint MSc-project). This way, we create optimal opportunities for user-science knowledge transfer. Our current research projects can be found on


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • 2020-169


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB, Enschede

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