The Coastal Engineering Research Group (CERG) at the Department of Civil Engineering of Ghent University and the Hydraulics section of the Department of Civil Engineering of KU Leuven (Leuven University) are offering three full-time PhD positions in the area of modelling coastal dynamics and modelling of wave overtopping and wave loading of coastal dikes.(1 at the Ghent University, 1 at the KU Leuven and 1 joined Ghent+Leuven).
Research in PhD position 1 (Ghent University) will focus on developing and applying advanced numerical models, and on carrying out supporting physical model test and field measurements, to establish a prediction methodology for wave overtopping, wave impact forces on sea defences, and risk for casualties in buildings on sea dikes, for the specific case of very shallow foreshores (typical Belgian case with beach nourishment and dike crest, but widely applicable). Starting from a review of existing data and knowledge, numerical modelling using the obtained model will be performed for typical cases selected. Parallel to numerical modelling, experimental model tests and field measurements will be performed to provide validation data. Subsequently, both numerical and physical results will be used to characterize the hydrodynamic forcing and the structural stability of storm walls and buildings on top of the dike crest.
Research in PhD position 2 (KU Leuven) will focus on integrated wave-current-sediment modelling. To deal with the various spatial and temporal scales, different models and model systems will be used. For the finest temporal and spatial scales RANS type models will be used. Integration and parametrization of the processes (upscaling) will be used as input for the coupled 3D hydrodynamic-wave-sediment models. Further upscaling in space and time should then lead to 2D-hydrodyamic-wave-sediment models. The consequent reduction in computational requirements is needed to accomplish longer morphological time horizons. Research activities will mainly take place at KU Leuven (Prof. Erik Toorman and Prof. Jaak Monbaliu).
Research in PhD-position 3 (Ghent University + KU Leuven) will focus on wave-resolving numerical modelling of hydrodynamics interacting with beach and hard coastal defense structures. This research will be carried in two phases. Phase 1 (2 years) focusses on the modelling of wave overtopping of sea dikes with the aim to develop a methodology to predict more accurately overtopping volumes and expected forces on the structure. The aim of Phase 2 (2 years) is to incorporate within the same code (i.e. OpenFOAM) the effects of sediment transport to study the loss of energy by mobilized sediments and changing morphodynamics of the beach before waves reach the dike. This will be a dual-degree PhD project where phase 1 will be carried out at Gent University (Prof. Peter Troch) and phase 2 at KU Leuven (Prof. Erik Toorman).