January 16, 2017

Modelling systems of natural and engineered beaches

Modelling systems of natural and engineered beaches 400 x 400 px

However, existing coastal defence structures are aging, exposing the communities to increased hazard. Many of these structures exist in combination with natural beaches and a modification to either the natural or the engineered element of this system impacting on the other.

It is challenging to model the interaction between the two parts of this system on a large spatial scale (i.e. over the full extent of the defence, typically of the order of several kilometres), and over time scales that range from a single storm to several years.

To answer this need the PhD project will focus on the numerical modelling of the performance of composite systems of natural beaches and coastal defence structures in order to simulate and thereby understand how these systems behave.

The student will therefore focus on the numerical modelling of beach and structure response using state of the art software for the hydro- and morpho-dynamics of beaches, such as XBeach and Delft3D. He/She will focus on the Crosby Seawall, U.K. in order to develop and validate the model, and will also work in close contact with the National Oceanographic Centre in Liverpool for the definition of large-scale wave and water level conditions for the extreme events that will be studied in detail.

The student should possess a strong background in Fluid Mechanics and Physics. Knowledge of numerical modelling, familiarity with coastal models (e.g. Delft3D, SWAN, XBeach) and MATLAB are welcome. He/she will join the Coastal Dynamics and Engineering research group at the University of Nottingham, which is specialized in the study of beach morphodynamics and in surf and swash zones physical processes.

Students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree, or a distinction or high merit at MSc level (or international equivalent), in civil engineering, physics, mathematics or closely related disciplines.

For informal enquiries regarding this studentship please contact Dr Riccardo Briganti