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PhD Candidate Resilience of water-plant-soil system in prolonged drought events

PhD Candidate
Resilience of water-plant-soil system in prolonged drought events

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Key takeaways

  • Hours 40 hr.
  • Salary indication € 2,541 - € 3,247
  • Deadline 31 Aug 2022

The extreme droughts of 2018-2020 in the Netherlands caused great social distress and huge economic damages. The drought-related damage in 2018 was estimated between 900 and 1,650 million Euro. Scientific knowledge can help to mitigate such adverse effects, if we integrate advanced drought knowledge and data, including satellite data, field observations and modelling, to study the water/carbon/nutrient use and the response of agriculture and nature systems to drought events.

You are expected to address the abovementioned challenges and develop improved formulations, thereby making extensive use of field observations and remote sensing data. You  will focus on understanding how the water-soil-plant dynamics vary with environmental and climate stress, by coupling the vegetation photosynthetic activities to soil water and heat dynamics considering dynamic root growth and synergized with satellite data. You will be encouraged to use our state-of-the-art modelling systems (STEMMUS-SCOPE). The existing modelling system will be extended with modules for plant growths and response of vegetation to drought conditions, and validated against field measurements and remote sensing observations (e.g., existing data products from VanderSat). Furthermore, you are expected to develop two emulated versions of STEMMUS-SCOPE with the physics-informed machine learning approaches, and closely working with VanderSat/Planet to explore the commercial potential of applying the emulated STEMMUS-SCOPE for producing operational data products. To add momentum to the collaboration with VanderSat/Planet, most of the research will be done while working from the VanderSat office in Haarlem.

Your profile

You have:

  • An MSc degree in soil science, ecohydrology, remote sensing, computer science, geosciences or a related field;
  • A strong background in Earth system science, process-based (soil/biogeochemical) modelling, numerical methods, artificial intelligence, machine learning and remote sensing;
  • Strong skills in scientific programming (e.g., in Matlab, Python);
  • Demonstrated scientific creativity that has preferably resulted in scientific publications;
  • Excellent communication skills and English language proficiency, and like to communicate your research to a broader audience;
  • An open mind towards applying open science principles;
  • An affinity with a multi-cultural education environment, excellent work ethics and commitment to the job.

Our offer

We offer you an inspiring multidisciplinary and challenging international and academic environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalisation is an important part of the strategic agenda. You will be employed on a fulltime basis for 4 years, with a qualifier in the first year. Salary and conditions will be in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement (CAO-NU) of the Dutch Universities.

  • A starting salary of € 2,541.- in the first year and a salary of € 3,247.- in the fourth year gross per month;
  • Tailor-made educational/development programme of at least 6 months (30EC), including visits to conferences;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • A total of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment;
  • Professional and personal development programmes;
  • Costs for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed.

Information and application

For more information, you can contact Prof Dr Bob Su  (email: z.su@utwente.nl) or Dr Yijian Zeng (email: y.zeng@utwente.nl). You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 1 September 2022 (choose “apply here” below). Your application should include:

Interviews are scheduled to take place between 7 - 15 September 2022.

The University of Twente wants to be an organisation that optimally deploys diversity, talents and capabilities in the labour market for now and the future. In the framework of our diversity and inclusiveness policy, we strongly stimulate people with a (work) disability to apply for this position.

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About the department

The ITC-WRS Department works in the domains of Water and the Environment, focusing on water, food, energy and ecosystems security and sustainability. The department uses Earth observation and in-situ ground truthing in combination with hydrologic and Earth systems modelling and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for the assessment and monitoring of the water, energy and biogeochemical cycles to support planning and management of water resources, freshwater and coastal ecosystems under global change.

About the organization

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation. Our mission is capacity development, where we apply, share and facilitate the effective use of geo-information and earth observation knowledge and tools for tackling global wicked problems. Our purpose is to enable our many partners around the world to track and trace the impact – and the shifting causes and frontiers – of today’s global challenges. Our vision is of a world in which researchers, educators, and students collaborate across disciplinary and geographic divides with governmental and non-governmental organisations, institutes, businesses, and local populations to surmount today’s complex global challenges and to contribute to sustainable, fair, and digital societies.

About the faculty ITC 

Curious about were the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) stands for? Check out the ITC website for more information.

A job that matters

Create new opportunities for yourself, your colleagues and our society. Scientist or teacher, administrator or facilitator, thinker or doer, energetic leader or silent support – your work at the University of Twente matters. And you too!

How to apply

Step 1

Apply.
When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

Apply now

Step 2

Selection.
The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

Step 3

1st interview.
The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Step 4

2nd interview.
In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

Step 5

The offer.
If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

Want to know more?

Su, Z. (Bob)

Su, Z. (Bob)
Full Professor

Su, Z. (Bob)
Full Professor

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Bob for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.

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