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Worldwide, beaches and dunes are attractive places to visit. Over the past decades, increasing coastal population size coupled with improved mobility and more leisure time, have greatly increased the intensity and spatial extent of recreation and related infrastructure on beaches. As a consequence, the dynamics of these urbanized beach-dune systems are likely no longer only determined by natural processes, but more and more by human activities. Examples are mechanical removal of wind-driven sand deposition near recreational infrastructure, or building protective sand buffers using bulldozers in anticipation of expected storm damage. The aim of this project is to gain insight into the consequences of human use of the beach for the long-term development of beach-dune systems.
Your research project concentrates on the following two aspects: (1) Analyzing data sets in order to characterize intermittently occurring human and natural activities that induce bed level changes, such as bulldozing and wind-driven sand transport events, and the interactions between them. The data consists of e.g. hourly laser scans and video imagery of urbanized beaches and meteorological data. (2) Modelling the bed level changes driven by the identified human-natural interactions. Based on your earlier findings from data analysis of observations, you will extend a Cellular Automata model of beach-dune system evolution (DuBeVeg). Using the extended model you will then analyze the long-term consequences of human use of the beach for the development of beach-dune systems. Next to research you will also contribute to our teaching in the Civil Engineering educational program and to supervision of MSc student graduation projects, related to your research topic.
This PhD position is part of the AdaptCoast project, a collaborative project with Delft University of Technology, faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, who will, amongst others, develop video-based, adaptive data collection techniques for automatically identifying and recording intermittently occurring human and natural sand transport related activity at the coast.
University of Twente (UT)
- The candidate should hold an MSc degree in the field of geoscience, coastal engineering, applied mathematics, fluid dynamics or a closely related discipline. They should have a good command of the English language, both in speaking and writing, and strong communication skills.
- We seek an enthusiastic and inventive researcher, with broad interests covering data analysis and numerical modelling in coastal environments.
- You have sound programming skills for numerical modelling and/or data analysis.
- You are curious, and intrinsically motivated to dive deep into a challenging topic and learn why systems behave the way they do.
- Candidates should have a background in, or strong affinity with, geosciences, coastal engineering, applied mathematics or fluid dynamics.
- In particular, we are looking for an independent researcher who is capable of conceptualizing complex human-natural dynamics into simple models.
- Consequently we are looking for someone who has a problem solving attitude, can put their teeth into challenges that arise, and is open minded and creative.
- We consider it important that the candidate is able to put their research in a wider perspective, both in relation to other scientific disciplines as well as in relation to everyday practice of coastal management.
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 € 2.541,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to € 3.247 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%.
- 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.