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The assessment of extreme urban flooding risks on traffic network using Digital Twin technology

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

About the Project

Flooding is one of the costliest forms of natural disaster and impacts are expected to increase, in particular, due to climate change, urbanisation and population growth. In the UK, scientists have predicted a 10-20% increase in rainfall during the wettest days, so it is likely we will see similar or worse examples of the 2019 England floods more and more often. Although recent research has proposed several flood risk assessment approaches in response to climate change, few have adopted the urban Digital Twin concept, in particular, for the assessment of traffic network under extreme conditions. This PhD project will focus on the integration of the hydrodynamic model, traffic model, and urban Digital Twin for extreme flooding risk assessment, and management, in particular,

1) the simulation of flood events based on different climate change scenarios
2) enhance the performance of the hydrodynamic model through model modifications and coupling technologies.
3) the integration of the hydrodynamic model, traffic model and the city Digital Twin
4) urban flood risk assessment on traffic networks
5) study on resilience and sustainable decision-making supports for future urban planning and development

The student undertaking this project will have the opportunity to be a University of Sheffield Grantham scholar and to take advantage of the programme of sustainability training offered. The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures focuses on advancing sustainability research and connecting it with the policy debate around how humans can live in a more sustainable way (

Grantham scholars combine outstanding intellect with a strong commitment to public engagement, leadership and action. These ambitious individuals undertake interdisciplinary PhD research projects to help solve the challenges of sustainability. They will be supported by the Centre through a unique training programme, designed to equip them with the skills to become policy advocates and leaders in sustainability matters. Further information about Grantham Centre training programme can be found in

The Candidate
It is recognised that candidates are unlikely to have all the skills required to complete the PhD on project commencement. The primary essential criteria are therefore the ability and willingness to learn new skills and techniques, alongside a strong first degree in a relevant subject area (e.g., Engineering, Geoscience, GIS, Computing Science etc.).

The successful candidate must start by: flexible

Next steps
Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact the lead supervisor Dr Lu Zhuo at

Funding Notes

This project is suitable for a self-funded student or a student with a government scholarship including overseas students.

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