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EPSRC DTP PhD Studentship in Mathematics & Hydrology - Improving European flood forecasts using data assimilation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The annual cost due to flood damage in Europe is expected to rise to 100 billion EUR by the year 2080, due to a combination of climate change and socio-economic growth. The EU-funded European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) is an operational system that monitors and forecasts river floods across Europe. Where river gauge data is available (about 800 locations), the river forecasts are statistically calibrated to match the observations locally. Nevertheless, the value of the corrections is limited, as they do not take into account the spatial relationships that naturally exist between points up- and downstream in the river network. In contrast, data assimilation provides a mathematical framework for state estimation and calibration that allows for both optimal combination of heterogeneous observation types, as well as non-local updates, where observation influence extends spatially, according to dynamical relationships between locations. The aim of the project is to develop a data assimilation system for EFAS forecast calibration.
In this interdisciplinary project, the student will develop knowledge and research skills in applied mathematics, hydrology, and the emerging new field of environmental data science. The student will also have the exciting opportunity to spend time working at the European Centre for European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), with the team developing the operational EFAS system (approximately 1 day per week). Thus, the student will be able to develop an understanding of the practical constraints of the real world system, while having a strong theoretical basis to the PhD. The student will receive full technical training for the project through Masters level courses, short training courses and summer schools.

Funding Notes

Funding Details:
• Starts September 2019
• 3 year award
• Tuition fees plus RCUK stipend

• Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree, Masters Degree with Merit, or equivalent in mathematics, physics, engineering or a closely related subject.
• Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students.

Further details about the project please contact

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