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Building resilience to compound natural hazards

The PhD will explore the complex compounding relationships between natural hazards, such as flood, drought and heatwaves, as well as with their respective causes, and quantify the likelihood and impact of more than one high-impact event occurring coincidentally with another.

Number of places

1

Funding

Home fee, Stipend

Opens

31 July 2018

Deadline

1 October 2018

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

A first class BEng/BSc Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. Civil / Environmental Engineering or Physical Sciences). 

Eligibility for RCUK studentships

  • Research Council (RC) fees and stipend can only be awarded to UK and EU students and not to EEA or International students.
  • EU students are only eligible for RC stipend if they have been resident in the UK for 3 years, including for study purposes, immediately prior to starting their PhD.
  • If an EU student cannot fulfil this condition then they are eligible for a fees only studentship.
  • International students cannot be funded from RC funds unless they are ‘settled’ in the UK. ‘Settled’ means being ordinarily resident in the UK without any immigration restrictions on the length of stay in the UK. To be ‘settled’ a student must either have the Right to Abode or Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. If the student’s passport describes them as a British citizen they have the Right of Abode.
  • Students with full Refugee status are eligible for fees and stipend.

Project Details

While natural hazards can be caused by a single variable being in an extreme state, such as extreme rainfall leading to a flash flood, such events are more typically the result of a complex interaction between several variables, either occurring in sequence or concurrently. The severity of the highest impact weather-related hazards, such as droughts, floods and storms, depend on how, when and where they combine and interact as well as the inter-relationships between these hazards and the conditions that cause and influence them. This combination of hazards is referred to as ‘compound’, or ‘coincident’, events.

The Centre for Water, Environment, Sustainability and Public Health in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, in collaboration with the University of Adelaide in Australia and Newcastle University in England, is looking for an exceptional candidate to explore these complex interdependent relationships between natural hazards. The project will merge climate, meteorological and hydrological sciences with engineering to address key questions such as what are the causes and interdependencies of various natural hazards, what are impacts of such events on the natural and build environments (i.e. energy generation, water management, humanitarian aid), and how such information can be integrated into hazard modelling, natural hazard risk assessments and forecast/warning systems to improve our ability to prepare for, and build resilience to, such events both now and in the future? 

The ideal candidate should have a desire to work in an interdisciplinary, applications-focused field of growing importance. He/she will be a practical self-motivated person who will lead the development and direction of their project. Applicants should hold (or expect to get) a minimum of an upper second class honours degree or an MSc with distinction in engineering, physical sciences, maths, or a related field. They should have some programming experience in analytical languages such as MATLAB or R. A background in HPC-based computer modelling and/or statistics is desirable but not essential. Students with some prior research and/or work experience in the climatological/meteorological/hydrological sciences will be given priority.

This PhD comes with a Research Council UK (RCUK) fully-funded studentship, including fees and a generous circa £14,500 p.a. stipend. The studentship is due to commence 01 October 2018 and will remain open until filled. The studentship has strict eligibility criteria as outlined below: 

• RCUK fees and stipend can only be awarded to UK and EU students and not to EEA or International students.

• EU students are only eligible for RC stipend if they have been resident in the UK for 3 years, including for study purposes, immediately prior to starting their PhD.• Students with full refugee status are eligible for fees and stipend.

• Students with full refugee status are eligible for fees and stipend.

• International students cannot be funded from RC funds unless they are ‘settled’ in the UK. ‘Settled’ means being ordinarily resident in the UK without any immigration restrictions on the length of stay in the UK. To be ‘settled’ a student must either have the Right to Abode or Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. If the student’s passport describes them as a British citizen they have the Right of Abode.

•If an EU student cannot fulfil this condition then they are eligible for a fees-only studentship.

Funding Details

Fully Funded – SRSS (REA) DTG, fees and UKRC level stipend.

How to apply

Please contact Dr Chris White for further information including details on how to apply for this position.