Back to search results

Living with Water: Perceptions, Processes, Responses and Mitigation of Flooding (5 PhD Scholarships)

University of Hull

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Hull
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £14,777 (in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd October 2018
Closes: 23rd January 2019

To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU/International PhD Scholarship for candidates applying for each of the following projects as part of a new research cluster.

Closing date: - Wednesday 23 January 2019

Studentships will start on 16th September 2019

Summary of Cluster

The magnitude and frequency of flooding and the associated risks to infrastructure, economic activity and human life are known to be increasing due to changes in rainfall and storm intensity, frequency and seasonality, in conjunction with the pressures of increased development on floodplains and in the coastal zone. There is a need for society to adapt to Live with Water. This PhD cluster will focus on better understanding the impacts of flooding and improving the approaches to mitigating flood risk to societies. Improved understanding of the impacts of flooding requires an improved understanding of the processes leading to flooding and the processes active during floods; from the changes in fluxes of water and debris, through to emergency responders’ and the public’s behaviour and perception in response to flood events. The cluster brings together researchers in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Life Sciences, and Computer Science with social scientists and physical and numerical modellers in Geography and Geology.

PhD Project 1: Perceptions of floods and flood risk in Hull past/present/future

Hull is a city born of water and one that has long been at risk of all four types of flooding (surface water; ground water; tidal, including storm surges; and fluvial). A flood of the 1250s most likely changed the course of the river Hull, allowing the modern town to be founded on its current site and further floods were recorded in 1265, the 1390s and 1646. More recently, Hull suffered from severe surface water flooding in 2007, the largest storm surge since 1953 struck in December 2013 and further flooding occurred in 2016. As a response to recent events, the Living with Water partnership (comprised of Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and Arup) have installed three flood alleviation schemes to the north of Hull, with a further three in planning. This PhD project seeks to assess changing public perceptions of flood risk in both historical and contemporary contexts. It has three linked strands of research activity: public perceptions of flood risk; past flood histories; an exhibition on local flood perceptions.

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in human geography, history, environmental humanities or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

For further details, please contact Dr Briony McDonagh (b.mcdonagh@hull.ac.uk)

PhD Project 2: Human Factors in emergency flood rescue and developing optimal responder training

This PhD takes a Human Factors approach to developing effective emergency flood rescue training. The project will employ psychological and physiological methods to (1) evaluate the mental and physical challenges facing flood rescue teams, (2) explore the validity of emergency flood rescue training, with a view to understanding if such training prepares emergency responders for the range of tasks to which they might be exposed and, (3) design optimal flood training protocols that enhance skill maintenance and prepare trainees for the extreme environment. This project will be carried out in partnership with Humberside Fire & Rescue Service and will benefit from access to current training provision.

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Psychology and/or Exercise Physiology with an interest in applied Human Factors research, or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

For further details, please contact Dr Fiona Earle (f.earle@hull.ac.uk) / Dr Grant Abt (g.abt@hull.ac.uk)

PhD Project 3: Channel-floodplain interactions during flood events: energy and momentum exchange

When rivers flood, the velocity of the water in the main channel is normally significantly faster than that on the floodplains where water spills overbank, and therefore a strong shear layer develops where in-channel and out-of-bank flows interact. Our knowledge and understanding of flow interactions between channels and floodplains is weak, with limited field data and simplified numerical models. This studentship will deploy novel acoustic and optical instruments to obtain turbulent flow measurements at the channel-floodplain interface for different relative depths, different vegetation types (e.g., grasses, shrubs, woody seedlings) and for spatially heterogeneous roughness ranging from individual elements (individual plants) through to tufts and patches of variable floodplain roughness (heterogeneous vegetation). Working with industrial partners, these measurements will be used to develop and validate theoretical and full three-dimensional CFD models of turbulent flow dynamics at the channel-floodplain interface, improving predictions of channel-floodplain interactions due flood events and high water levels.

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in physical geography, earth sciences, engineering or related disciplines, or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline together with an interest in numerical modelling and environmental flows. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

For further details, please contact Dr Stuart McLelland (s.j.mclelland@hull.ac.uk)

PhD Project 4: Using the Internet of Things and big data to dynamically map flood risk

This project will explore a range of Internet of Things (IoT) and big data approaches to dynamically mapping flood risk and response during events. Traditional measurements and modelling that underpins present flood warning and alert systems are based on fixed and spatially restricted weather station and river (or groundwater) gauge networks. The IoT opens up the opportunity to exploit a range of other data to inform dynamically flood warnings, alert and responses.  This may include using data from cars to map rainfall, effectively turning cars into mobile rain gauges through location information and car wiper blade speeds, through to using mobile phone signal quality deviations to map rainfall in higher resolutions than presently possible.  There are now significant volumes of open data and open-model systems available that can inform real-time response and guide emergency services and optimise their availability and site accessibility alongside the availability of supplies and assets such as sandbags and barriers. This can be reported along with the capability to use citizen-gathered data on social networks to map damage for insurers. Together these approaches hold promise for the development of a smart flood management network with real-time now-casting of rainfall and flood extents at its heart.

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Computer Science or related discipline, or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline together with relevant research experience. Excellent programming experience is essential. Knowledge or experience in one or more of the following areas is desirable: machine learning / deep learning, embedded systems, physical sciences, engineering or environmental sciences. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

For further details, please contact Dr Nina Dethlefs (n.dethlefs@hull.ac.uk)

PhD Project 5: Natural Flood Management: Optimising design to reduce geomorphic impact

Leaky wooden dams are being used as a significant component of many planned and implemented Natural Flood Management schemes. Their low installation cost and simple design, has led to their widespread application, but with minimal design and limited critical assessment of best practice in design and construction. For example, informal designs that block the whole channel result in significant scour, producing elevated downstream sediment loads, impaired performance and, potentially, eventual failure. Furthermore, the longitudinal spacing may interfere with natural pool-riffle sequences and the effects of constructing dams both in and out of phase with these features is unknown. Such dams thus provide a poorly constrained contribution to flood retention. Alternative, more substantial, designs that are raised above mean low flow levels and constructed to retain known volumes of water, may limit their geomorphological impact to large flow events, but with largely unknown long-term impacts on catchment sediment load and geomorphology. This project will use a combination of fieldwork, experiments and numerical modelling to assess the behavior of leaky dams of different porosities, installation heights and installation angles at different flow rates. These results will be used to improve the design of leaky dams for natural flood management schemes (working with Forest Research, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and others), both in terms of hydraulic effectiveness/efficiency and bio-geomorphological effectiveness.

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in physical geography, earth sciences, engineering or related disciplines, or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline, together with an interest in numerical modelling and environmental flows. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

For further details, please contact Prof. Tom Coulthard (t.coulthard@hull.ac.uk)

To apply for these Scholarships please click on the Apply button below.

https://www.hull.ac.uk/choose-hull/study-at-hull/admissions/postgraduate/how-to-apply.aspx

Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include tuition fees and maintenance (£14,777 in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Interviews will be held between 7th and 27th February 2019.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 15th March 2019 at the latest.

   
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:

Subject Area(s):

Location(s):

PhD tools
 
 
 
 
More PhDs from University of Hull

Show all PhDs for this organisation …

More jobs like this
Join in and follow us

Browser Upgrade Recommended

jobs.ac.uk has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing jobs.ac.uk on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge