PhD opening: grain-size effects on coastal nourishment morphodynamics

PhD opening: grain-size effects on coastal nourishment morphodynamics

Published Deadline Location
26 Apr tomorrow Enschede

Job description

This research position is part of the SOURCE program: Sand nOURisment strategies for sustainable Coastal Ecosystems. The SOURCE philosophy is that carefully planned sand nourishments now will create the required and desired resilient and dynamic multifunctional coastal landscapes of the future.

SOURCE will deliver the scientific knowledge, models and design tools to develop and evaluate nourishment strategies in a multi-stakeholder co-creation process. Our Living Labs are two sand nourishments along the Dutch coast. These will be co-designed, monitored and evaluated by the SOURCE consortium (in particular the 12 PhD and postdoc researchers at 8 academic institutes in total) in collaboration with 25 partners from government organizations, research institutes, nature organizations and industry.

Within the SOURCE program, your project aims to identify the grain-size effects on the morphodynamics of coastal nourishments, including the role of sediment sorting processes. Your research will combine small-scale lab experiments under controlled conditions with unique field observations in our dedicated Living Labs. This combination allows you to study both the driving sand transport processes in great detail under varying wave-current conditions, as well as the morphological evolution resulting from different nourishments designs and sand mixtures. With this fundamental understanding, you will be developing new sand transport model formulations that will be implemented in numerical morphological models that will be used to predict nourishments’ lifetime, spreading and impacts on coastal state indicators.

Being part of the SOURCE team implies close interaction with your UT supervisors as well as fellow researchers within the consortium. Regular consortium meetings will accommodate knowledge exchange with our partners, increasing the relevance and impact of our research. Furthermore, you will present your work at (inter)national conferences and publish your findings in journal papers and a PhD thesis.


University of Twente (UT)


  • MSc in Coastal Engineering, Physical Geography or related discipline.
  • You are experienced in field data collection and/or lab experiments.
  • You have sound programming skills (e.g Python, Matlab, other).
  • You have experience with data-analysis and hydraulic modelling software (e.g. Delft3D, XBeach).
  • Your organizational skills are good. You are enthusiastic, independent and have a problem solving attitude
  • You are willing to contribute to the Civil Engineering teaching program and to supervise MSc thesis projects.
  • Your writing skills are good – you have written scientific reports.
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written (IELTS >= 6.5 or equivalent).

Conditions of employment

  • Challenging work in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Four-year fulltime PhD position, with a qualifier exam after 6-9 months
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits
  • Tailor-made educational/development program of at least 6 months (30 EC), including visits to conferences.
  • A starting salary of €2.770,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to €3.539,- gross per month in the fourth year.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.
  • 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.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.

Your first responsibility is to carry out the research, but you also will acquire teaching experience (about 10% of your time). We support you to broaden your knowledge by joining international exchange programs, by participating in national and international conferences and workshops and by visiting industrial companies, research institutes, and universities worldwide.

Additional information

For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Dr. ir. Erik Horstman ( or Dr. ir. Jebbe van der Werf (

Please upload your application via the ‘Apply now’ button before May 31st 2024. Your application should include a cover letter (emphasizing your specific interest, motivation and qualifications), a detailed CV, an academic transcript of BS. and MSc education, result of an English test (if you attended a non-English taught MSc program), a publication list (if applicable) and contact details of two referees. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

The first selection interviews are scheduled for 13 and 18 June 2024 preferably in person at the campus of the University of Twente. A second round may be part of the procedure.

We aim for this project to start September 1st 2024. We also welcome students to apply who expect to have finished their MSc thesis by this time.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1735


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).