TU Delft

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Originele vacaturetekst

Postdoc Infragravity wave REFlection and dune erosion during EXtreme Storms (REFLEX)

Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

The position is located within the department Hydraulic Engineering of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The Department of Hydraulic Engineering aims at a thorough understanding of the behavior of rivers, estuaries, coasts, seas, and interventions in these systems. The focus is on understanding, engineering, designing, and managing human interventions in the natural environment for purposes such as: flood safety, navigation, and construction in water.

The postdoctoral researcher will be working in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics (EFM) research group. The group is concerned with the fundamental fluid mechanical aspects of transport processes in rivers, estuaries and coastal zones. We specialise in wave dynamics, physical oceanography, shallow environmental flows and turbulence, fine and cohesive sediments, experimental and numerical fluid mechanics. This has positioned the group as a major international player in, among other fields, ocean wave research and flow modelling.

The main research themes of the EFM group are estuaries, coasts and seas. All of these regions are affected by waves, and the prediction of waves and understanding their impact across scales on coastal flows, sediment dynamics and vegetation are of crucial importance to our section. Key components of our research are numerical modelling using wave models such as SWAN and SWASH and analysis of field and laboratory data.

Functie omschrijving

REFLEX will investigate near-dune hydrodynamics during wave attack. Sandy dunes are an important line of defence against flooding in many countries, including The Netherlands. In The Netherlands, dune safety assessment currently relies on the use of an empirical model derived from a series of large-scale flume experiments. The model ability to predict dune erosion in the field is thus limited by the choices made during these experiments. In particular, it is questionable if the experimental setup allowed a proper representation of the infragravity wave field reaching the dunes, and thus of their contribution to dune erosion. It is as a result unclear if the current approach leads to a conservative estimate of erosion volumes when applied to field conditions.

REFLEX aims at connecting these large-scale flume experiments to field conditions, and as such generate new knowledge to improve dune safety assessments. A key part of the work carried out by the postdoctoral researcher will be to characterize the evolution of frequency-dependent wave reflection patterns during storms, which are hypothesized to be an important control for dune erosion. Indeed, while shorter waves tend to dissipate before reaching the dune, infragravity waves generally loose less energy when approaching the shore and reflect more strongly off the dune. This reflection leads to an increase in run-up, which is an important parameter for the dune erosion. Wave reflection is however expected to change in time as the beach profile adapts during the storm, controlling in turn the erosion rates and thus dune evolution.

This work will rely on a unique field experiment, during which an artificial dune will be built near the high water line and subsequently monitored during wave attack. The field data analysis will be complemented by numerical experiments using wave-resolving models such as SWASH or XBeach.

The field campaign will be the result of a collaborative effort between two research groups within our department, namely the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Section that will host the postdoctoral researcher and the Coastal Engineering Section that will host a PhD candidate working on a closely related topic within the ‘RealDune’ project (PIs: dr. S. de Vries and prof. S. Aarninkhof). The REFLEX postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for the hydrodynamic part of this field campaign, that will include detailed measurements of the (directional) short and infragravity wave fields both offshore of our field site and near the dune during a series of storms. The in-house hydraulic engineering field program at TU Delft will support this field campaign.

The Delft University postdoctoral researcher will work in a team with dr. Marion Tissier and Pr. Ad Reniers at TU Delft and will additionally advised by dr. Ap van Dongeren at Deltares. This postdoc position will have a duration of 2 years for a full time employment (possibility to work part time and increase the contract duration).

Functie eisen

  • PhD in Hydraulic Engineering or Physical Geography or a related field.

  • Track record in wave related research in coastal waters

  • Excellent ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing

  • Good organisational skills and ability to work in a team

  • Experience or strong affinity with field work and data processing

  • Experience in numerical modelling


Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (min. € 3.353 max. € 4.402 gross per month based on a full-time basis). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Informeren en solliciteren

For more information about this vacancy and the REFLEX project you can contact Marion Tissier, Assistant professor, email: M.F.S.Tissier@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 2789122.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Marloes Heemskerk, HR Advice, email: m.heemskerk@tudelft.nl.

To apply, please send your motivation letter (approx 1 page), CV and publication list. Make sure to include in your motivational letter (and/or CV) examples of projects in which you successfully demonstrate your skills relevant to this project. Please also mention when you could start.

Applications should be received by e-mail before October 19th 2020.

We aim to start this position in December 2020/January 2021.

Exact starting date is negotiable.

Please email your application documents to: recruitment-citg@tudelft.nl.

All the information should be combined in a single PDF entitled:


When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TUD00460 in the heading of your email.

Please note that applications will only be processed if all documents required are compiled into a single pdf document.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

36-40 uur per week
Type vacature:


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