PhD position in long-term beach and dune dynamics due to human and natural processes
Are you interested in beaches and dunes, and the interactions we humans have with these areas? Would you like to join our Marine and Fluvial Systems group, part of the Civil Engineering and Management department, to gain more insight in long-term morphological behavior of beach-dune systems? We are looking for a curious and motivated candidate who has a keen interest in the functioning of coastal systems.
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.
Information and application
Please upload your application via the ‘Apply now’ button before October 10 , 2023. Your application should include
- cover letter (emphasizing your specific interest and motivations to apply for this position),
- detailed CV, and if applicable, a list of publications
- academic transcript of M.Sc. education including grades,
- contact details of two referees,
- TOEFL or IELTS score to verify sufficient mastering of the English language, or a degree from an English-taught MSc program.
For questions or more information about the position you can contact Prof. Dr. Kathelijne Wijnberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The first (online) job interviews will take place on October 31 and November 2.
About the organisation
The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.