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PhD research position on flocculation modelling in coastal environments,Belgium
The Hydraulics section of the Department of Civil Engineering KU Leuven is active in the three research domains: 1) Urban and River Hydrology and Hydraulics, 2) Coastal and Estuarine Hydrodynamics and Remote Sensing; and 3) Sediment Mechanics.

It invites the application for a full-time (4 years) PhD research position within the framework of the BRAIN.be project INID67 (2015-2018), funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO). This project is a collaboration between Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS) – OD Nature, KU Leuven and IFREMER (France), coordinated by Michael Fettweis (RBINS). It focusses on the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) indicators 6 'Sea-floor integrity' and 7 'Hydrographical conditions'.

One of the key research topics is the incorporation of flocculation into the SPM modelling of fine-grained cohesive sediment transport, in order to improve the prediction of the formation and resuspension of fluid layers as found near the Belgian coast. The major aim of this task is the implementation of a multi-class population balance flocculation model, as proposed by Lee et al. (2011), into the 3D TELEMAC (v7) software and application of the model to the Belgian coast. The flocculation model should be adapted to work with three (instead of two) floc classes (micro-flocs, macro-flocs and mega-flocs, formed seasonally during algae bloom periods). The task requires making changes into to the source code, testing the code, calibration and validation of the model.
The candidate will be working in a multi-disciplinary team-working environment, collaborating with other researchers in our research group who use the TELEMAC suite in various other projects. In particular, an adapted version of the flocculation model will need to be developed to be used in the application of microplastics transport in the Baltic Sea in the framework of the JPI Oceans project WEATHER-MIC

Profile: Candidates should hold a degree of master (MSc) in engineering (or equivalent), with specialization in Hydraulic, Environmental, Oceanographic, Civil or Mechanical engineering, with experience in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and willing to study and modify the model source code (FORTRAN programming). Experience in population balance modelling is an asset. The candidate shall be able to carry out research investigation independently, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary team. He/she should be proficient in English, have excellent scientific writing, planning and communication skills, and be an enthusiastic team player.
Students from non-EER countries should count on requiring to follow a predoctoral program of 6-12 months, before being allowed to the (4 years) PhD program. The duration and content of this predoctoral year depends on proven research experience and international publications. 
General information on PhD research @ KU Leuven can be found at http://set.kuleuven.be/phd.

The positions will be open until filled. The earliest starting date will be November 2015. Applications, including a motivation letter, CV, diploma transcript(s) and names and contact details of (at least) three reference persons, should be sent to:
Prof. Erik Toorman
Hydraulics Division, Department of Civil Engineering, KU Leuven
Kasteelpark Arenberg 40 (box 2448), B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium
E-mail: erik.toorman@bwk.kuleuven.be
Tel. +32 16 32 16 59 – Fax  +32 16 32 19 89
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