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Optimizing dike-forest combinations for safety & ecological value – wave damping performance & model development

Are you the one who is getting a doctoral degree on the quantification of the wave damping capacities of WOODY vegetation?

ongeveer een jaar geleden


Stevinweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


We are looking for a PhD candidate to strengthen our new WOODY project team. WOODY is a multidisciplinary project funded by the Netherlands organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). It involves a comprehensive study on the use of woody vegetation in Nature Based Flood Defences to enhance flood safety. The project explicitly aims to provide the fundamental understanding needed, to move from science to practice, in implementing integrated Nature-management & Nature-Based Flood Defenses. However, at this moment we lack the tools to reliably predict the flood-defence value of woody wetlands. Moreover, we do not yet know if the nature-quality goals are compatible with flood-defence goals. In this project we aim to resolve these questions.
The PhD candidate will work on the quantification of the wave damping capacities of WOODY vegetation (Work Package 1). The main aims are as follows:

  • Determine the wave attenuation by woody vegetation under storm conditions using a full scale flume test.
  • Determine the scale effects of small scale physical models when modelling woody vegetation.
  • Determine the wave loads on sea defences which are protected by woody vegetation.
  • Develop implementation of flexible vegetation in numerical and/or analytical models.

At the heart of the research are the results of a full scale experimental campaign in the Delta Flume that has been performed in 2018, but not yet fully analysed. The candidate will perform small scale tests to determine scale effects. It is also envisaged that the candidate will beinvolved in planning and running a new large scale testing program in the Delta Flume. The results will be incorporated in engineering-type numerical models. Within WOODY, you will cooperate with a PhD condidate be working on the ecological aspects of the (Dutch) forests. Moreover, a postdoc will be involved in implementing the developed knowledge in more practical guidelines.
The candidate will work in a research team that involves TU Delft, NIOZ, and Deltares, which will actively interact with Dutch industry and governmental partners. The acadmic core of the project will consist of 1 PhD position at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), and 1 PhD position (this vacancy) and 1 Post-doc at Delft University of Technology (DUT). The team is led by dr. Bas Hofland (TUD) in collaboration with prof. Tjeerd Bouma at NIOZ, dr. Van Wesenbeeck at Deltares. At the TUD, you will receive co-supervision from professors Stefan Aarninkhof, Bas Jonkman and Wim Uijttewaal.
This 4 year PhD position starts on 1 January 2020 at the earliest. The exact starting date for the position is negotiable to some extent.


The candidate should have an MSc degree in Hydraulic Engineering, Physical Geography, Earth system science or related discipline. In order to work together within the project the candidate has to be a good team player, with the ability to work independently. Moreover, an excellent ability to think conceptually and quantitatively, and excellent ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing, are required. As several physical modelling campaigns are part of this work package, experience in hydraulic physical modelling is highly preferable. The final results will be implemented in a numerical model, hence experience with numerical modelling of waves and programming skills are also valued.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The minimum salary mentioned is the salary in your first year. The salary mentioned as the maximum will be your salary in your fourth year.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit TU Delft Graduate School for more information.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr.ir. Bas Hofland, b.hofland@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 278 5067.