PhD scholarship in Statistical Downscaling of Precipitation to Very High Spatio-Temporal Resolutions

DTU Environment
Wednesday 01 Aug 18

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DTU Environment would like to invite applications for a 3-year PhD position.

The Urban Water Systems Section focuses on sustainable management of the urban water systems related to water supply, storm- and wastewater management under a changing climate. The research is dealing with processes and technologies with respect to water quantity and quality. Both computational and experimental studies are con-ducted and research is done at the lab, pilot and full city scale, and in collaboration with other research institutes, stakeholders or end-users. The ultimate goal is to conduct enabling research and technical solutions that support sustainable management of urban water systems.

The field of research is within understanding and predicting future changes in extreme precipitation with an emphasis of its role as a key driver of urban flooding.

Responsibilities and tasks
Interpretation of Earth System model simulation output is essential in urban and rural hydrological applications when assessing climate change impacts and suitable adaptation options. The objective of this PhD scholarship is to identify changes in the timing and severity of changes in risk to urban areas because of changes in extreme rainfall and how this can be taken into account when designing urban drainage infrastructure.

During the past decade substantial progress within the field has been made by means of analysing Regional Climate Model output from hydrostatic models. Currently the research focus is shifting to models with higher spatio-temporal resolution, thereby enabling convection-permitting precipitation schemes. Such model simulations are currently undertaken by the Danish Meterological Institute as part of the Climate Atlas project.

The task will be to analyse the spatio-temporal characteristics of these simulations with a focus on precipitation extremes and compare them to observed rainfall. We envision that there will be two main components in the study: 

  1. to study the output from convection-permitting RCMs, including development of metrics to quantify the added benefit of such models as a tool to describe climate change of extreme precipitation, and
  2. to use the output to describe climate change impacts on precipitation extremes as well as to generate hydrological input suitable for design and analysis on the urban hydrology scale. 

The results should be published both scientifically and via the portal for climate change adaptation data to be developed by the Danish Meteorological Institute. The scholarship is co-funded by the Danish Meteorological Institute and they will contribute actively to the project execution.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or geophysics or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering, geophysics, or stochastic hydrology.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by researchers from both DTU and the Danish Meteorological Institute.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Main workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus, but with a shared placement at the Danish Meteorological Institute with an expected total duration of at least 6 months. Possibilities of an external stay at a third research institution will be actively explored.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen,  

You can read more about the Department of Environmental Engineering at   

Please submit your online application no later than 1 September 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Environment is one of the largest university departments specializing in environmental engineering in Europe. The department conducts research and development, and provides educational programs and service to society in the area of engineering of water in natural, urban and industrial contexts, processing and recovery of residual resources, environmental risk assessment and chemical risk reduction. The aim is to develop new environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies, and to disseminate this knowledge to society and a new generation of engineers. The department has approximately 185 staff from more than 30 countries.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.