PhD opening in Understanding and modelling lower shoreface sand transport

Are you interested in setting up innovative model solutions to better understand lower shoreface sand transport and thus contribute to a climate-proof coast? The Water Engineering & Management department of University of Twente are looking for a PhD researcher to strengthen their team. Please view the vacancy for more information.

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Alongside another PhD student and a postdoc, you will be one of the researchers in the MELODY project: ModEling LOwer Shoreface Seabed DYnamics for a Climate-Proof Coast. Recently funded by the Dutch Research Council, MELODY aims to better understand sand transport and morphodynamics at the lower shoreface. This zone forms the essential link between the offshore seabed and the nearshore zone, thus controlling how climate change, and the activities to cope with it, affect our coast.

Specifically, your subproject aims to identify the controlling lower shoreface sand transport mechanisms. In particular the balance between low transport rates during normal day conditions, and much higher transport rates during storm events. In order to do so, you will develop an efficient sand transport model for the complete Dutch Lower shoreface, including effects of wind, waves, tide, river discharge, temperature and salinity and with real-time forcing.

Being part of MELODY implies close interaction with your direct supervisors at UT and your fellow researchers (i.e., the other PhD student working on tidal sand waves, as well as a postdoc making the translation to marine and coastal management). To warrant the link to practice, we will have recurring user group meetings with professionals from the Netherlands, as well as a group of international experts. Furthermore, you will present your work at national and international conferences and write your findings in journal papers and a PhD thesis.


  • MSc in Civil Engineering, Physical Geography, Applied Mathematics or related discipline.
  • You have sound numerical/programming skills (e.g Python, Matlab, other).
  • You have experience with data-analysis and hydraulic modelling software (e.g. Delft3D, XBeach).
  • Your organizational skills are good. You are enthusiastic, independent and have a problem solving attitude
  • 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 (IELTS >= 6.5 or equivalent).


  • A challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Four-year fulltime PhD position, with a qualifier exam after 6-9 months
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits
  • Tailor-made educational/development program of at least 6 months (30EC), including visits to conferences.
  • A starting salary of €2.443,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to €3.122,- 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%.
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.

Your first responsibility is to carry out the research, but you also will acquire teaching experience (about 10% of your time). 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.

Bedrijfsprofiel Ziekenhuis Groep Twente

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.


The University of Twente stands 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 ground-breaking 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.


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