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PhD Position Sediment Dynamics, Civil Engineering – Delft, The Netherlands

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

The Netherlands

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Nov 1, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences recruits PhD Position Understanding Sediment Dynamics for Equilibrium-Based Dredging Strategies in Ports at the Delft University of Technology – The Netherlands, Nov 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: November 1, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: -
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: € 2.434,00 - € 3.111,00 per month

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Qualification Details

A thorough background in sediment and soil characterization is essential, as the candidate is foreseen to be involved in field and laboratory studies.

In addition, the applicants should have the following:

  • Master of Science (MSc) diploma in Hydraulic Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Applied Phyiscs, Soil Sciences or any other related field
  • Ability to translate fundamental knowledge to new maintenance strategies and policies
  • Motivation for applied research and experimental work
  • Aptitude to function both in a team and independently
  • Ability to collaborate within an interdisciplinary team
  • Willingness to cooperate with both scientific and industrial partners
  • Knowledge of rheology or soil mechanics will be a plus

During the PhD trajectory English is very important. So if your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Maintenance dredging of sediment deposits can be highly expensive and inefficient. Port operators seek tailor-made solutions to reduce the costs and at the same time guarantee safe navigation. Over the last decades, a number of strategies for port maintenance have been tested by port and governmental authorities.  Conditioning the sediment is a possible solution for port maintenance. The goal of conditioning the sediment is to reduce its strength in order to create navigable conditions (fluid mud layers) while keeping the sediment in place, for example by re-circulation of the sediment. If the transport of fluid mud (out of a port towards the river or the sea) equals the import of suspended mud by exchange flows, a dynamic equilibrium is achieved without residual import, making conventional dredging and relocation unnecessary.

The main objective of this research is to develop new knowledge on conditioning for port maintenance  dredging in the Seaport Emden, Germany. Field and laboratory studies will be conducted aiming at keeping the sediment properties below the nautical criteria for nautical bottom applications. In-situ analysis of key sediment characteristics (density, rheological properties, bathymetry, turbidity, organic matter reactivity, oxygen saturation, etc.) will be conducted in order to optimize the maintenance efficiency and to relate the effect of the maintenance to the short-term and long-term changes in the system.

The second objective of the study is to reproduce the abovementioned dredging methods in the laboratory and study the effect of the methods on the sediment properties. Particularly,  the impact of sediment conditioning on rheology, structural recovery, settling, consolidation, mineral composition, oxygen saturation, redox potential, pH and stability of organic matter will be studied.

This research will develop knowledge for designing circular strategies in ports. Furthermore it will collect evidence to what extent current strategies comply with circularity principles. The developed framework will be serving as a decision making tool facilitating the analysis of the sediment maintenance strategy and required maintenance depth.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: -TUD01506
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before November 1th 2021 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

About the Department

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.

About the Employer: Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Note or Other details

Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts 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.

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Contact details

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Alex Kirichek

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