PhD scholarship in Dynamics and Kinematics of Extreme Non-Breaking and Breaking Irregular Waves, DTu, Denmark

Study in:Denmark
Deadline: 26 January 2018

The Section of Fluid Mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering (FVM) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DTU Mekanik) at the Technical University of Denmark has an open PhD position on the subject “Dynamics and kinematics of extreme non-breaking and breaking irregular waves”

The main research areas of the FVM Section are fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics, and the interaction with structures and seabed. The methods applied include theoretical, numerical and experimental modelling, and these methods are used for determining the behaviour of flows, including their impact on surrounding structures. Examples of technical applications include the scavenging process in two-stroke diesel engines, estimation of sediment transport, coastal morphology, and determination of wave loads on ships and offshore structures.

Extreme storm wave events can represent a great threat to coastal and offshore structures. Many older platforms in the sea have been exposed to subsidence, which makes them more exposed to wave impact. Experiences from the North Sea have revealed that breaking waves occur much more frequently than originally anticipated even in relatively deep water. This might result in higher loading, than originally designed for, especially for the upper structure and upper structural elements. This PhD scholarship is part of a collaboration between DTU-MEK and DHRTC through the project “Dynamics of extreme waves and their interaction with offshore structures”.

Responsibilities and tasks
The main objective of the project is to develop a new numerical model for the calculation of the dynamics and kinematics of highly nonlinear multi-directional irregular water waves. Highly accurate and novel Boussinesq-type formulations of the governing equations have recently been derived, and the project should focus on solving these equations with spectral methods and periodic boundary conditions.

The spectral approach will allow for formulations based on much higher spatial derivatives and therefore much higher accuracy than present in any existing Boussinesq model. At the same time we expect this model to be significantly faster than existing wave models. Once the model has been implemented and verified on non-breaking extreme waves in 2D and 3D, it is planned to develop a breaking module, which will allow us to consider spilling breaking waves within the framework of potential flow models.

Activities and tasks:

  • Develop numerical spectral models solving novel high-order Boussinesq-type formulations of the governing equations
  • Investigate and improve accuracy and stability including anti-aliasing
  • Develop a generic module for spilling wave breaking valid in arbitrary water depth
  • Simulate long term development of nonlinear irregular waves and establish wave crest analysis for extreme events
  • Compute the kinematics for non-breaking and breaking extreme waves
  • Model the interaction of short and long waves
  • Improve conventional stretching methods for wave kinematics

Candidates should have a master’s degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

In the assessment of the candidates, consideration will be given to:

  • Solid background in hydrodynamics/fluid mechanics
  • Solid background in numerical methods for partial differential equations
  • Solid background in Mathematics
  • Experience with Matlab and Mathematica

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Per A. Madsen, email:

You can read more about the Department of Mechanical Engineering on

Please submit your online application no later than 26 January 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 85 persons.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 26 January 2018
Apply for the job at DTU Mechanical Eng by completing the following form.

Apply online

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