PHD Project

October 11, 2022

Modelling extreme sea states in a changing climate


Applications are invited for a PhD studentship within the NERC-ENVISION Doctoral Training Partnership, co-funded by JBA Trust, with a project entitled: “Modelling extreme sea states in a changing climate”. Coastal systems are extremely important for the natural environment worldwide. Waves are among the most important physical drivers for their evolution. Climate change involves transformation in wave climate that need to be understood and quantified using a combination of deterministic and stochastic approaches.

This PhD project will develop methods to describe future wave climates, with a focus on extreme values. The project will start by analysing existing projections for future sea states in order to understand and model the significance and spatial variability of future trends. Thereafter, the focus will be on developing an innovative technique to model coastal extremes, e.g. the extreme combinations of sea states and sea level, using both extreme value analysis and wave propagation models.

The studentship will be based at the University of Nottingham (U.K.) and they will work in close collaboration with the National Oceanographic Centre (U.K.) and JBA (U.K.), which they will visit for extended periods during the PhD course.

The student should possess a strong background and interest in physical processes of natural systems, numerical modelling, and statistics. Familiarity with coastal dynamics models (e.g. wave propagation models, SWAN), statistics packages (e.g. R), and data analysis software (e.g. MATLAB) and programming languages (e.g. Python) are welcome. They will join the Coastal Dynamics and Engineering research group at the University of Nottingham, which is specialized in the theoretical and numerical study of coastal 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 (