PhD in Salt Intrusion in Pearl River Estuary Delft University of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science Netherlands

PhD: Salt Intrusion in Pearl River Estuary

Department/faculty: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Level: Master degree

Working hours: 38 hours per week

Contract: 4 years

Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the social relevance of its research programmes. The faculty’s excellent facilities accentuate its international position in teaching and research. Within this interdisciplinary and international setting the faculty employs more than 1100 employees, including about 400 graduate students and about 2100 students. Together they work on a broad range of technical innovations in the fields of sustainable energy, telecommunications, microelectronics, embedded systems, computer and software engineering, interactive multimedia and applied mathematics.

Research at the Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics (DIAM) centres around the analysis of mathematical models arising in science and engineering. This research is both fundamental and applied in nature, and is often inspired by technical applications. The department plays an active role in translating research results into concrete, practical applications. It maintains intensive contacts with other TU Delft departments, the major technological institutes and the research laboratories of major companies. Within its own subject field, the department provides teaching for the Applied Mathematics BSc and MSc programmes, and also contributes to the teaching of mathematics courses within other academic programmes at the TU Delft, and within national programmes such as “MasterMath”.


Job description

The mathematical physics group is seeking a PhD student on the project 'Salt intrusion: Understanding the Pearl River Estuary by Modelling and field Experiments', a joint research project between China (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou), England (National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool) and the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology). A detailed description of the research project can be found at


The overall aim of the project is to understand the three-dimensional salt transport mechanisms, and their sensitivity to variations in external forcing and geometry/bathymetry, with a specific focus on the Pearl River Estuary (China). Within the project, an integrated approach will be used, including field observations, numerical modelling and idealised modelling. The PhD candidate employed by Delft University of Technology, and co-supervised by the University of Twente, will focus on the latter aspect: using mathematical techniques (asymptotic analysis techniques, bifurcation techniques to analyse nonlinear dynamical systems, etc.), an idealised model will be developed and analysed to gain insight into the most important physical mechanisms. Our Chinese and English partner will simultaneously conduct field measurements and numerical modelling experiments. To ensure an optimal interaction among the candidates in the three different countries, three workshops and extended visits are scheduled.



Candidates should hold an MSc degree in applied mathematics, physical oceanography, civil engineering, or a related natural science. Experience with numerical modelling and knowledge of dynamical systems theory and (geophysical) fluid dynamics are an advantage.
In view of the international and multidisciplinary context of the project, a proactive attitude regarding project organisation and communication is a strong benefit.  


Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact H. M. Schuttelaars, phone: +31 (0)15-2783825, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, including a list of MSc results and preferably a copy of your MSc thesis, along with a letter of application by 1 February 2018 to P.T.M. van den Bergh,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number EWI2017-42.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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