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PhD Position Integrated Management of Flood and Drought

Evidence of a changing climate has raised concerns regarding the future sustainability of current flood protection systems and, on the opposite side, on the …

2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 38 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


Evidence of a changing climate has raised concerns regarding the future sustainability of current flood protection systems and, on the opposite side, on the coping capabilities of these systems against water scarcity (drought). In the Netherlands, lack of water means disruption for transport and ecosystem services, saltwater intrusion along the coast, lack of freshwater for agriculture and domestic use, but also possible damages on flood defences and soil subsidence.

These premises call for an integrated management approach in which flood and drought are considered interconnected hazards and are evaluated at the same time to ensure a balance between water availability during dry periods and flood safety during wet periods. The associated integrated risk assessment against flood and drought will improve the resilience against natural hazards and will provide adaptation strategies to a changing climate.

During the PhD project, different aspects of the integrated management approach will be tackled, including: (i) analysing the different types of drought, in time and space, at the country level to assess their yearly probability of occurrence in the current and future climate; (ii) analysing the yearly succession of wet (flood-prone) and dry (drought-prone) periods in current and future climate to identify changes that might require modification in the current water managing approach (e.g. Lake Ijssel and the flexible water approach); (iii) investigating the effect of preceding dry conditions to determine changes in flood risk assessment (e.g., changes in water level threshold that can potentially lead to a flood event); (iv) investigating adaptation strategies, e.g., water infrastructures, to ensure water availability in dry periods and flood safety in wet periods (e.g., in Achterhoek region). These analyses can also be integrated and expanded to a case study with a different water managing approach compared to the Netherlands but still vulnerable to both flood and drought, such as California.

The PhD candidate will be part of the Hydraulic Structures and Flood Risk section in the Hydraulic Engineering department. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr. Elisa Ragno, Prof. Dr. Ir. Matthijs Kok, and Dr. Ir. Oswaldo Morales Napoles. As part of this project, the PhD candidate will be given the opportunity to work with leading academic and industrial partners.


To be a good candidate for this PhD postion, you have:

  • A master's degree in Civil Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or relevant domain.
  • Knowledge of hydro-meteorological processes and probabilistic modelling.
  • Good programming skills (Python, R, Matlab) or willingness to improve such skills.
  • A proven interest in natural hazards and climate change is highly appreciated.
  • Outstanding analytical skills.
  • Self-motivated, autonomous, curiosity-driven, open to communicate and collaborate with others in a multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse team.

During the PhD trajectory English is very important. So if your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Elisa Ragno, e.ragno@tudelft.nl.