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PhD Studentship in Coastal Processes at the University of Bath, UK
Applicants are sought for a funded PhD studentship to at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath.
 
The project title is "Beach erosion-recovery response at multiple sites using crowd-sourced data".
 
Beaches are highly dynamic, changing in response to wave and water level conditions over a range of timescales. While there has been considerable research into storm erosion of beaches, research into beach recovery following storms is very limited. The lack of datasets which quantify the role of storm erosion-recovery cycles in longer-term beach change is recognised as a limiting factor in our understanding of these processes. Fundamentally, this paucity of suitable data is due to the practical difficulties involved in making accurate, rapid and repeat beach profile measurements immediately pre-, during- and post-storm.
 
We will address that data gap through an innovative approach to data collection using crowd-sourcing. The UK is home to an informal network of recreational beach users who visit beaches daily to provide online updates of surfing conditions around the coastline and who have a strong interest in the coast. This project will develop a series of low-cost "Rapid Beach Survey Kits" which will be distributed to volunteers who are willing to complete regular surveys of their local beaches.
 
This crowd-sourced approach will enable highly-regular beach survey data to be collected from multiple beaches at low-cost. Analysis of this data, in conjunction with selected existing storm-response geospatial datasets, will provide new insight into storm erosion and subsequent beach recovery by comparing beach response at multiple sites during the same storm. The data also provide an ideal dataset to underpin development of an equilibrium/behavioural approach to modelling beach erosion-recovery response.
 
We seek applicants who can demonstrate strong quantitative skills, a desire to be involved in field data collection and a creative and independent approach to solving research questions. Because this project links into an active collaboration with Australian colleagues, there is opportunity to travel to the field locations for site visits and participate in ongoing data collection.
 
This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the NERC Great Western 4+ Doctoral Training Partnership (GW4+ DTP). The studentships will provide funding for a stipend (currently ?14,057 pa), training support fee and UK/EU tuition fees for 3.5 years for full-time students starting in September 2016. Applicants must be classed as UK/EU for tuition fee purposes. Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fee purposes are not eligible for funding.
 
The Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at Bath is ranked No. 2 in the UK. The university is located in southwest England in idyllic Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient Roman baths, Gothic abbey, and Georgian architecture.
 
For further information and to make an application, please contact Dr Chris Blenkinsopp (c.blenkinsopp@bath.ac.uk<mailto:c.blenkinsopp@bath.ac.uk>).
 
Supervisory Team:
Main supervisor: Doctor Chris Blenkinsopp, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath
Co-supervisor: Doctor Eli Lazarus, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University
Co-supervisor: Professor Ian Turner, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales
 
Dr Chris Blenkinsopp
Water, Environment and Infrastructure Resilience (WEIR) Research Unit
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
University of Bath
Bath
BA2 7AY
United Kingdom
 
t: +44 (0)1225 386715
e: c.blenkinsopp@bath.ac.uk<mailto:c.blenkinsopp@bath.ac.uk>
w: http://www.bath.ac.uk/ace/research/weir/index.html
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