PHD Project

October 10, 2017

The influence of extreme events in the long-term evolution of mixed gravel/sand barrier beaches

The influence of extreme events in the long-term evolution of mixed gravel/sand barrier beaches

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship within the NERC-ENVISION Doctoral Training Partnership with a project entitled: “The influence of extreme events in the longterm evolution of mixed gravel/sand barrier beaches”. Barrier beaches are common features along the coastline of England, and elsewhere in the world. These barrier features are important for the geomorphology and equilibrium of the beach. They act, for example, as routes for the transport of littoral sediments and as important boundaries behind which lagoons form (i.e. Slapton sands, U.K.). They are also very important as natural flood defences, protecting substantial areas from coastal inundation. Extreme events can cause over-wash and breaching, affecting the general equilibrium of the beach and the protected area. The role of these type of events in the long term evolution of the beach is not yet clear. The research project will use analysis of existing and new data on barrier beaches as well as numerical methods. The candidate will investigate the behaviour of monitored beaches and he/she will model their evolution during storms to inform models that predict the evolution on longer time scales. The student should possess a strong background in fluid mechanics and sediment transport. Knowledge of numerical modelling, computer programming (e.g. Python, MATLAB), and familiarity with geomorphology, coastal dynamics, and related numerical models are very welcome. The student will join the Coastal Dynamics and Engineering research group at the University of Nottingham, specialized in the theoretical and numerical study of coastal processes and coastal defence design and performance. He/she will also carry out part of the research at the British Geological Survey in Keyworth where he/she will be involved in field measurements.

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, geography, physics, mathematics or closely related disciplines.

For informal enquiries regarding this studentship please contact Dr Riccardo Briganti (email: