PhD Position Unravelling the effects of Large-scale Sand Extraction on Flow and Transport in the southern North Sea

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 24 Oct 2022

Are you an MSc graduate with a deep interest in understanding flow and transport in our coastal seas and deltas? Are you motivated to contribute to their sustainable development?

Are you an MSc graduate with a deep interest in understanding flow and transport in our coastal seas and deltas and impacts of climate change on these systems? Are you motivated to contribute to their sustainable development? Do you have a strong background in physical oceanography, environmental fluid dynamics, coastal engineering, numerical modelling, and/or are you a mathematician or physicist who would like to apply your skills to sustainable coastal protection? Then this job might be for you!

Background: The Dutch coast like many others worldwide is maintained by sand nourishments, for example the iconic Sand Motor along the Dutch coast. This sand is extracted from the seabed. Due to climate change, the sand extraction for coastal protection is expected to increase dramatically. However, sustainable sand mining requires a deep understanding of the flows in our coastal seas and the impact on their ecosystems, including the potential consequences for larvae transport.

The Program-context: In the multi-disciplinary NWO-funded research program OR ELSE a broad consortium of Dutch institutes, universities and stakeholders will work together to develop recommendations on ecosystem-based extraction strategies for the southern North Sea. As part of this, new fundamental knowledge will be developed on the effects of large-scale sand mining on the physical, biogeochemical and ecological conditions of ecosystems.

The Project: As part of OR ELSE, this PhD-project in the section Environmental Fluid Mechanics at the TU Delft has the aim to determine how sand extraction changes the flows, mixing, stratification and turbidity in the southern North Sea, particularly in the Rhine River Plume, one of the largest river plumes in Europe, and how these changes affect the transport of fish larvae across the southern North Sea and into the deltas. Using a high-resolution 3D numerical model of the North Sea you will explore the consequences of different sand mining scenarios. Existing and new field data of salinity, temperature, velocity and turbulence will be collected. Simulations will be carried out on high performance computational facilities for a range of sand extraction designs, also considering IPCC climate scenarios. Advanced Particle Tracking techniques will be applied to determine the impact on larvae transport and the connectivity between spawning grounds and settling locations. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Julie Pietrzak and Dr. Ir. Wouter Kranenburg, and will actively collaborate with fellow OR ELSE PhD’s, Post-docs and scientists to further our understanding of the sustainable development of our coastal seas.

  • MSc degree in Hydraulic Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, Physical Oceanography, Physical Geography, Earth System Science, Mathematics or related discipline.
  • Proven affinity with flow and transport processes and technical aspects of numerical modelling and data processing.
  • Excellent ability to think conceptually and quantitatively.
  • Excellent ability to communicate in English both in speech and in writing.
  • Good organisational skills and ability to work independently and in a team.

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 .

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 we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr.ir. Wouter Kranenburg (w.m.kranenburg@tudelft.nl ) or prof.dr. Julie Pietrzak (j.d.pietrzak@tudelft.nl ).

For information about the application procedure, please contact Monique Scheers, HR adviser (m.scheers-vanderhorst@tudelft.nl ).

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 25 October 2022 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • 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.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Are you an MSc graduate with a deep interest in understanding flow and transport in our coastal seas and deltas? Are you motivated to contribute to their sustainable development?

Are you an MSc graduate with a deep interest in understanding flow and transport in our coastal seas and deltas and impacts of climate change on these systems? Are you motivated to contribute to their sustainable development? Do you have a strong background in physical oceanography, environmental fluid dynamics, coastal engineering, numerical modelling, and/or are you a mathematician or physicist who would like to apply your skills to sustainable coastal protection? Then this job might be for you!

Background: The Dutch coast like many others worldwide is maintained by sand nourishments, for example the iconic Sand Motor along the Dutch coast. This sand is extracted from the seabed. Due to climate change, the sand extraction for coastal protection is expected to increase dramatically. However, sustainable sand mining requires a deep understanding of the flows in our coastal seas and the impact on their ecosystems, including the potential consequences for larvae transport.

The Program-context: In the multi-disciplinary NWO-funded research program OR ELSE a broad consortium of Dutch institutes, universities and stakeholders will work together to develop recommendations on ecosystem-based extraction strategies for the southern North Sea. As part of this, new fundamental knowledge will be developed on the effects of large-scale sand mining on the physical, biogeochemical and ecological conditions of ecosystems.

The Project: As part of OR ELSE, this PhD-project in the section Environmental Fluid Mechanics at the TU Delft has the aim to determine how sand extraction changes the flows, mixing, stratification and turbidity in the southern North Sea, particularly in the Rhine River Plume, one of the largest river plumes in Europe, and how these changes affect the transport of fish larvae across the southern North Sea and into the deltas. Using a high-resolution 3D numerical model of the North Sea you will explore the consequences of different sand mining scenarios. Existing and new field data of salinity, temperature, velocity and turbulence will be collected. Simulations will be carried out on high performance computational facilities for a range of sand extraction designs, also considering IPCC climate scenarios. Advanced Particle Tracking techniques will be applied to determine the impact on larvae transport and the connectivity between spawning grounds and settling locations. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Julie Pietrzak and Dr. Ir. Wouter Kranenburg, and will actively collaborate with fellow OR ELSE PhD’s, Post-docs and scientists to further our understanding of the sustainable development of our coastal seas.

  • MSc degree in Hydraulic Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, Physical Oceanography, Physical Geography, Earth System Science, Mathematics or related discipline.
  • Proven affinity with flow and transport processes and technical aspects of numerical modelling and data processing.
  • Excellent ability to think conceptually and quantitatively.
  • Excellent ability to communicate in English both in speech and in writing.
  • Good organisational skills and ability to work independently and in a team.

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 .

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 we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr.ir. Wouter Kranenburg (w.m.kranenburg@tudelft.nl ) or prof.dr. Julie Pietrzak (j.d.pietrzak@tudelft.nl ).

For information about the application procedure, please contact Monique Scheers, HR adviser (m.scheers-vanderhorst@tudelft.nl ).

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 25 October 2022 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • 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.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

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