PhD Position AdaptCoast: Adaptive Coastal Monitoring and Modelling of Intermittent Anthropogenic and Natural Impacts on Beach-Dune Systems

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 15 Jun 2023

12 May 2023
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

15 Jun 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Beach-dune systems respond to anthropogenic, ecological and geomorphological processes. and are affected by sea level rise and urban development. These complex natural and anthropogenic processes happen together and are therefore difficult to assess because of multi-scale interactions in space and time. Managing such coastal systems requires both insight in the processes and reliable prediction tools.

Main knowledge challenges are improved understanding of how, first, erosive and restorative short-term processes, and second, anthropogenic interventions, such as bulldozing, might influence decadal beach-dune system development. New emerging measuring and modelling tools are needed as aeolian and human dynamics interactions are interwoven and event driven, where standard technology struggles.

The research is part of the AdaptCoast (Adaptive Coastal monitoring and modelling of intermittent anthropogenic and natural impacts on beach-dune systems) project, funded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). The project aims to develop new adaptive monitoring, analysis and predictions tools to better understand the individual and combined effects of human activities and natural dynamics on long term shoreward sand transport and dune development. AdaptCoast consists of two PhD projects, one based at TU Delft developing nowcasting techniques for nowcasting the natural processes and human activities, another one based at Twente with focus on scaling up detected human-natural interactions in time to assess long term morphological impacts. In support to these research activities, a postdoc at TU Delft will focus on developing a novel adaptive measuring system to monitor event driven intermittent natural dynamics and human activities. There will be a close collaboration between the two leading universities, as well as with (inter)national partners.

Your duties:

  • Extract change dynamics from 3D beach topography data acquired user laser scanning and photogrammetry
  • Identify and group spatio-temporal patterns of beach topography trends, extracted from both camera and laser scan observations.
  • Understand natural (atmospheric, oceanographic, and bio-geomorphological) and anthropogenic variables and agents driving beach-dune dynamics using causal discovery and complex networks theory.
  • Develop a machine learning architecture for nowcasting beach-dune surface change dynamics.
  • Implement the nowcasting architecture in the adaptive monitoring infrastructure and workflow.
  • Present your work at international conferences and publish your results in peer-reviewed journals.

Specific Requirements
  • MSc degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering, Applied Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing, Climate sciences, Computer Sciences, or related discipline.
  • Affinity with coastal fieldwork.
  • Excellent ability to think conceptually and quantitatively.
  • Experience with big data processing, statistical analysis, machine learning, numerical modelling and visualisation.
  • Programming skills, for example in Python, R or C++.
  • Excellent ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing.
  • Good organisational skills and ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary team of researchers.
  • You are willing to acquire your drone license and fly drones for the project and to support related education

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Additional Information

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 15 June 2023 via the application button and upload:

  • You letter of application (max 1 page).
  • Curriculum Vitae that includes (a) your educational record, (b) a list of publications (if any), (c) work experience (if any), and (d) a list of names of three persons with whom we may request a reference letter.
  • A first and concise indication of research questions and the methodology that you would propose for the project (in max 400 words).

Please note:

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact Roderik Lindenbergh ( ) or José A. A. Antolínez ( ).

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

Where to apply



Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD

View or Apply

Similar Positions