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PhD opening in Hydraulic river modelling approaches to link high flow and low flow conditions

Job description

Are you interested in setting up innovative, hydraulic modelling solutions to better predict high and low flow conditions of river streams? At the Water Engineering & Management department we are looking for a PhD researcher to reinforce our team. We are an active and dynamic team of researchers pioneering in hydraulic modelling and engineering.

You will study how hydraulic river models can be calibrated for both flood events and low flow conditions. The year 2018 clearly showed the effects of both high and low flows on economic and ecological losses in the Netherlands. It is expected that such discharge extremes will occur more often in the future due to climate change. This raises the question whether it is possible to improve the current river system such that the impacts of both high flows and low flows are mitigated in the future. To contribute to this mitigation, you will focus on developing an integral modelling approach rather than solving the two problems independently.

Both hydrological and hydraulic models are required to simulate the relevant processes from a rainfall event till river discharge. In this study, we will focus on the use of hydraulic river models. These models are capable of simulating flood wave propagation as well as predicting water levels during low flow with high accuracy. However, until now, hydraulic models are typically calibrated such that they are capable of only predicting high or low discharges accurately. Consequently, a model that has been calibrated for e.g. high discharges will result in unreliable model output, or even crashes during the simulation, of low discharges. Therefore, this study aims to develop a single calibration approach which is capable of predicting both extremes with high accuracy. In this way, the effect of river management interventions on water levels during both high and low flow conditions can be evaluated more efficiently. As a result, your modelling tools will help in designing interventions that store water during flood events which can be used later on for periods of droughts.

Your profile

  • MSc in Civil Engineering, Environmental Fluid Dynamics, Applied Mathematics or related discipline.
  • You have sound numerical/programming skills (e.g Python, Matlab, other).
  • You have experience with hydraulic modelling software (e.g. Delft3D, HEC-RAS, SOBEK).
  • Your organizational skills are good. You are enthusiastic, independent and looking for a challenge.
  • You are willing to contribute to the Civil Engineering teaching program and to supervise graduate students.
  • Your writing skills are good – you have written technical and/or scientific reports.
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written.

Information and Application
For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Anouk Bomers (, +31 53 489 1062) or Prof. Suzanne Hulscher (, +31 53 489 4256). The project will start as soon as possible after a suitable candidate is found.

Please upload your application via the ‘Apply now’ button before October 12th 2019. Your application should include a cover letter (emphasizing your specific interest, motivation and qualifications), a detailed CV, an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education, a publication list (if applicable) and contact details of 2 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 selection interviews are scheduled for November 4th 2019 and can be held through Skype if you are not based in the Netherlands.

Our offer

We offer you a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

  • We offer a four-year fulltime PhD position.
  • We provide a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities.
  • You will be part of a dedicated team with which you will collaborate extensively with industry.
  • A starting salary of € 2.325,00 gross per month in the first year and increasing to € 2.975,00 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%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.

Your first responsibility is to carry out the research, but you are also encouraged to acquire teaching experience. 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.

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 Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.
PhD opening in Hydraulic river modelling approaches to link high flow and low flow conditions
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