PhD Position C-SCAPE; Sandy strategies for sustainable coastal climate change adaptation

PhD Position C-SCAPE; Sandy strategies for sustainable coastal climate change adaptation

Published Deadline Location
28 Nov 4 Jan Delft

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 4 Jan 2020).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD to strengthen our new C-SCAPE project team. C-SCAPE is a project funded by the Netherlands organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Program 'Living Labs in the Dutch Delta'. 

Sand nourishments, where sand from offshore is placed near or at the beach, are essential as a natural measure to ensure coastal safety. Climate change will cause an increase of the annual nourishment volumes. 

By capitalizing on recent large-scale nourishments like the Sand Motor and Hondsbossche Dunes, the Coastal landSCAPE project C-SCAPE aims to explore sustainable long-term sand nourishment strategies in the face of an uncertain future. Central to these strategies will be the interlinkages between climate scenarios, coastal landscape management and the benefits for nature and society. 

The project will develop an adaptive nourishment strategy framework, informed by research into morphology, ecology and socio-economics. Crucial elements for the construction of adaptive pathways are 1) a clear view on the long-term feasibility of different sand nourishment alternatives, and 2) solid, science-based evaluation of their social, economic, morphological and ecological impacts. To address these elements, C-SCAPE will erect a Living Lab for Climate Adaptation. In this Living Lab, we examine how large-scale nourishment strategies and their design choices affect morphological and ecological development, and how they translate to social acceptance. Such choices can for instance involve concentrated vs alongshore nourishment, the addition of landscape features (lagoons, lakes, etc.), uniform, multi-functional design, or below vs. above water level nourishment.

The PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology will work on Work Package 3, the development of quantitative methods to assess the sediment spreading rate for different coastal nourishment strategies, and their long-term feeding potential for adjacent coastal areas. The research also involves the morphological assessment of complementary landscape elements like coastal lagoons, that can enrich large-scale nourishment programs to serve socioeconomic and/or environmental needs. The work foresees in a combination of numerical modelling and collaborative field work, to develop sound understanding of the underlying nearshore processes and possible gains for nature and society. 


The candidate will work in a multi-disciplinary research team consisting of three PhD candidates (at the universities of Delft, Leiden and Groningen) and scientific staff of HZ University of Applied Sciences and Deltares. The team is complemented with 12 partners from the public and private sectors. The team is led by Stefan Aarninkhof (TUD) in collaboration with Matthieu de Schipper (TUD), dr. Alexander van Oudenhoven (LU), Tjisse van der Heide (RUG), dr. Wietse van de Lageweg (HZ) and dr. Marjolijn Haasnoot (Deltares). The work plan foresees in frequent interaction and active collaboration within the research team and with end-users throughout the course of the project.

This fully funded 4 year PhD position starts in spring 2020. We seek a dedicated and motivated student with a Master’s degree in coastal engineering, physical geography, fluid mechanics or a closely related field. Experience in data analysis and numerical modeling and/or field work are desired.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • MSc degree in Civil Engineering, Geography, Earth system science or related discipline with training in nearshore coastal processes 
  • excellent ability to think conceptually and quantitatively
  • experience with data processing, numerical modelling and visualisation
  • excellent ability to communicate in English and preferably in Dutch, both orally and in writing
  • interest to carry out fundamental science in a real-world, multi-disciplinary policy context
  • good organisational skills and ability to work independently 

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The minimum salary mentioned is the salary in your first year. The salary mentioned as the maximum will be your salary in your fourth year.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft 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 Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology and delta technology. The research covers global social issues and is closely connected to education as well as the work of a wide range of knowledge institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to realise these goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.


The Department of Hydraulic Engineering is mainly concerned with major surface water bodies such as rivers, estuaries and seas. The focus is on understanding, designing and implementing human interventions in the natural environment for the discharge of water, for protection against water, for transport over water and for building in water. 


The PhD candidate will be working within the section of Coastal Engineering (CE). The CE section focuses on research and education related to coastal engineering systems, structures and integrated coastal management. The group aims to provide an excellent academic education for future generations of coastal engineers, based on the international experience and history. The group generates and disseminates academic knowledge in an internationally highly respected tradition.

Delft University of Technology recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusive excellence in supporting our academic mission and enriching the experience of our employees and students. We are committed to attracting candidates with varying identities and backgrounds, knowing that diversity enriches the academic experience and expands the knowledge base for innovation. We strongly encourage applications from candidates from under-represented groups.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • CiTG19.72


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer


Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN, Delft

View on Google Maps

Interessant voor jou