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Fully funded PhD studentship, Liverpool, UK
Fully funded PhD studentship: "Bedload transport of sediment mixtures in shelf seas"
Application deadline: 16th of February 2014
Position starts in October 2014
 
To fundamentally improve our knowledge on shelf seabed dynamics in mixed sediments, a fully funded PhD studentship is available, based at Bangor University (Dr Katrien Van Landeghem and Dr Jaco Baas) and the National Oceanographic Centre in Liverpool (Dr. Laurent Amoudry). This studentship is part of the NERC Doctoral Training Programme "ENVISION", aiming to developing our next generation leaders in environmental science.
 
This PhD project focuses on the complexity of shelf seabed morphological dynamics in a mixture of sand and gravel.
 
Why is the seabed important?
Being able to understand and predict seabed morphology, affects our society in many different ways, e.g. via coastal erosion, seabed recovery from dredging, scour around seafloor objects (like turbines), fluxes of carbon and pollutants.
 
Why sand and gravel?
Many of our shelf seas were glaciated, and ice left behind sediment of all size fractions. Sand and gravel together in a mixture leaves larger grains "exposed" and smaller grains "hidden". This changes the efficiency of the flow to mobilise the different grain size fractions as bedload transport. This significantly affects seabed morphodynamics, which at present remains to be quantified in shelf sea environments.
 
What will you do?
You will be part of a truly multi-disciplinary, integrated approach of
(1) offshore data analyses: geophysical and sedimentary data linked with hydrodynamics. One large dataset is provided by Llanelli Sand Dredging Ltd, who will advise you.
(2) laboratory work: experimenting with sand and gravel mixtures in a large flume tank. We will use transducers and photogrammetry to model the seabed in 3D.
(3) numerical work: integrate and analyse your experimental results to then assist in bedload modelling. You relocate to Liverpool to work with experts at the National Oceanographic Centre.
(4) novel ways to communicate your science: visualise through 3D graphics. A company Vizworx Ltd. will help you.
 
Training will be key in your project. Alongside the more traditional research training modules, the ENVISION Doctoral Training Programme will run a series of high level cohort development events focused on developing leadership, teamwork, science communication and multidisciplinary skills (www.Envision-dtp.org). These will include inputs from industry and government and give you a chance to promote NERC science at a leading science festival. You will thus be able to build a network in both academia and industry, whilst you can present your work at national and international conferences. You can join offshore surveys to experience shelf sea environments yourself and you will have access to world-class High-Performance Computing.
 
You should hold good numerical skills and a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, (Marine) Geology, Physical Oceanography or Natural Sciences. Please check the UK Research Council eligibility criteria as detailed in the NERC studentships handbook (http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/studentships).
 
ENVISION DTP studentships are funded for typically 3.5 years, starting in October 2014, and cover full tuition fees (Home/EU), and tax-free stipend (2013/4 stipend is £13,726 per annum, and this studentship provides an additional stipend from the CASE partner of £1000 per annum). A Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £2500 per annum is available, with extra funds and support from our partners in industry.
 
For further details please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Katrien Van Landeghem via email.
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