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PhD Candidate Earth observation of the response of estuaries to extreme events

Job description

The Department of Water Resources (WRS) of the Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente is looking for a PhD student with expertise in coastal and estuarine systems and remote sensing.

The 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 and freshwater and coastal ecosystems under global change.

The aim of this PhD project is to study the response of estuarine ecosystems to extreme events. Estuarine systems are inherently dynamic, shaped both by water from the river and the sea. You will develop remote sensing techniques for estimating the impact of extreme events (e.g., high waves during storms, floods, droughts) on estuarine systems, using time-series of satellite images. You will investigate how estuarine systems respond, depending on the nature, and intensity of the extreme events, and how, how fast and under what conditions systems can recover and adapt to these impacts (for example via bio-morphological interactions). You will focus on the effects of extreme events on sediment dynamics and water quality in estuarine systems. The research will result in a PhD thesis.

Your profile

  • You have a MSc degree in civil engineering, earth sciences, or physical geography
  • You have affinity with coastal and estuarine systems
  • You have ample experience with geo-informatics and earth observation (remote sensing), including big data handling
  • You have programming skills, and preferably affinity with modelling
  • You have an excellent command of English (above IELTS 7.5 or equivalent).


For more information, you can contact Prof. Dr. Daphne van der Wal (e-mail: You are also invited to visit our department’s homepage.

Please submit your application before 26 September 2019 (choose “apply now” below). Your application must include:

  • A cover letter (maximum 1 page A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivations to apply for this position;
  • a full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained;
  • a short description (maximum 1 page A4) of your MSc research.

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 internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

You will be fulltime employed for four years. Salary and conditions will be in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement (CAO-NU) of the Dutch Universities.

  • A starting salary of € 2,325.00 in the first year and a salary of € 2,972.00 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment;
  • Professional and personal development programs;
  • Costs for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.

PhD Candidate Earth observation of the response of estuaries to extreme events
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