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PhD Studentship in Civil Engineering - Mapping, Monitoring and Characterising Landslides with Satellite Radar and Optical Observations

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 annual stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th August 2018
Closes: 30th August 2018
Reference: ENG009

Value of award

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,777 (2018-19).

Number of awards


Start date and duration

24 September 2018 for 3 years.

Application closing date

30 August 2018, or as soon as the post is filled.


Landslides represent one of the major natural hazards faced by society. They and can be triggered by a range of factors including earthquakes, rainfall and water level changes. The principal aims of this project are:

  1. to monitor and characterise active landslides using satellite radar/optical images
  2. to evaluate the potential of satellite data for the assessment of future landslide hazard.

This project provides an exciting framework to develop tools that will be of great benefit to society. It will enable the successful candidate to work in a rapidly developing scientific environment.

There are great opportunities to collaborate with research colleagues in one of our current areas of interest, focusing on East and South Asia, e.g. China, India and Nepal. The specific objectives of this studentship can be refined according to the student’s background and interests.

This studentship is jointly funded by the NERC Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics(COMET) and British Geological Survey (BGS).

The student will be hosted within the Geomatics research group in the School Engineering at Newcastle University and the Earth Observation group at BGS. The student will benefit from the shared expertise of Geosciences staff in several research institutions and will attend regular meetings where the research of these various groups is presented and discussed.

There will be an opportunity to travel to national and international scientific meetings to present research results. We aim to see all students publish two to three papers in leading scientific journals during their PhD.

Upon completion, the student will be well equipped for a career in academia or industry.

For further details, please contact


Centre for the Observation and Modelling for Earthquakes and Tectonics (COMET) and British Geological Society (BGS)

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Zhenhong Li, School of Engineering, Newcastle University

Dr Colm Jordan, British Geological Survey

Eligibility Criteria

You need to have a quantitative background in the following subjects:

  • Remote sensing
  • Geophysics
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Geomatics/geo-informatics

You need to have an interest in Earth Sciences and Natural Hazards.

The funding is for UK/EU applicants only.

How to apply

All applicants should complete the University’s online postgraduate application form.  Only mandatory fields need to be completed.  However, you will need to include the following information:

  • Insert the programme code 8040F in the programme of study section
  • Select ‘PhD in Civil Engineering (Geomatics)’ as the programme of study.
  • Insert the studentship code ENG009 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • Attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship and quote reference number ENG009.
  • In addition to a CV and covering letter, the applicant is requested to email the supervisor a research proposal (maximum 3 pages).


For further details, please Professor Zhenhong Li at

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