PhD Studentship - Catastrophe Modelling of UK Storm Surge Risk

Loughborough University

Start date: October 1st 2018

Interview date: Week beginning February 12th 2018


Primary supervisor: Dr John Hillier

Secondary supervisor: Dr Dapeng Yu

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014)

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:

What is the UK’s present day storm surge risk, and how will this change in the future? Wind-driven coastal flooding or ‘Storm Surge’ is an important risk to the UK, but its standard assessment methodology (SRJPM) dates to 1995 and does not include spatial correlation between assets at risk (e.g. houses and infrastructure). This project will address that limitation, and progress this research field by: i) taking advantage of the developments in statistical techniques and climate modelling that includes greenhouse gas forcing scenarios; and ii) integrating this with advanced numerical modelling of storm surge and coastal flood inundation, and risk analysis.

Excitingly, modelling will go all the way from surges driven by off-shore storms to inland coastal inundation (i.e. flooding) and risk assessment. It aims to quantify all likely surge disasters, focusing on the national (i.e. whole of UK) and but illustrated with local scale (i.e. urban centre) case studies.

Risk assessment will use ‘catastrophe modelling’, a GIS methodology from the (re-)insurance industry that links physical models of hazards to financial loses; effectively ‘Monte Carlo’ simulation.

Internationally, this work is supported by Prof. Ning Lin of the Hurricane Hazards and Risk Analysis Research Group at the prestigious Princeton University.

For this project, the PhD student will gain state-of-the-art skills to analyse financial loss and meteorological data. This training will be in modelling, planning for resilience, and understanding environmental systems. The student will gain strength in skills identified by NERC as ‘most wanted’ for jobs in the environment sector; ‘modelling’, ‘multi-disciplinarity’, ‘numeracy’, ‘risk and uncertainty’ and this project will thus be excellent preparation for the environmental employment market.

Find out more:

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website (

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Earth Science/Environmental Science. A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

Funding information:

The studentship is for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2018. The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum (in 2017/18) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18) and a research training support grant of £8,000. Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder only students with a UK/EU fee status will be considered for this position. Further guidance about eligibility is available at RCUK Terms & Conditions.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Dapeng Yu

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 1509 228191

How to apply:

  • Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from
  • All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “Geography”.  During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.

Please quote CENTA17-LU3 when completing your online application.

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



Midlands of England