Coastal Modelling Research Officer – Bangor University

Applications are invited for this 21-month research position in coastal flood modelling based in the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University.

The position will contribute to the research project ‘Sensitivity of Estuaries to Climate Hazards’ (SEARCH), funded by the NERC UK Climate resilience Programme, investigating the multiple and changing drivers and impacts of estuary flooding hazards. The appointee will join the School of Ocean Sciences’ modelling group, in association with a wide group of collaborators across UK institutions. They will benefit from working within a dynamic and multidisciplinary research community including PhD students and post-docs, through to world-leading collaborators.

Candidates should possess a PhD (or near completion) or equivalent, in hydrodynamic modelling and have experience in developing ocean models with application to estuary flooding risk over a range of scales.

The successful candidate is expected to commence 01 November 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The closing date for applications is 20th September 2020. Interviews are planned for the first week in October 2020.

Please submit a 2-page CV in addition to the completed application form.

Informal enquiries about the post may be made to Dr Peter Robins (p.robins@bangor.ac.uk).

Applications will only be accepted via our on-line recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk. However, in cases of access issues due to disability, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 383865.

Closing date for applications: 20th September 2020.

Committed To Equal Opportunities

Overview

The School of Ocean Sciences (SOS), located on the beautiful shores of the Isle of Anglesey, is a multidisciplinary department with a focus on continental shelf sciences and a strong history of international research excellence and collaboration. Core research interests include oceanography, marine biology and ecology, aquaculture & fisheries, biogeochemistry and climate change science. This position will be based in the SOS – a state-of-the-art facility that acts as a hub for cross-disciplinary research, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of marine science in the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.

The Project

Sensitivity of Estuaries to Climate Hazards (SEARCH): Twenty million people living near UK estuaries are at risk from compound flooding hazards. Recent near-miss flooding (Dec-2013, Jan-2017) could have been much worse with subtle changes in surge-precipitation timings, although still caused damage costing £500M. Estuary communities are especially vulnerable to sea-level rise combined with increases in storm surge heights – and changing precipitation and temperature patterns that will have profound impacts on fluvial behaviour.

SEARCH will develop new modelling methods that are fit-for-purpose for compound flooding events across different spatial and temporal scales, and for different catchment and estuary types. It will evaluate how climate predictions from UKCP18 downscale to flooding impact, providing crucial inundation and likelihood data for the EA, NRW and SEPA to identify the most vulnerable communities to flooding and to manage their resources during incidence response. Global sea levels are expected to rise up to 1 m this century and for the UK, precipitation and temperature distributions are likely to change, with extreme storms, heatwaves and droughts becoming more intense and seasonal. Changes in the intensity of flood drivers are expected to affect the hazard and risk. However, changes in their timings relative to one another will also be vital for flood risk.

This project is especially timely considering the increasing socio-economic and environmental value of estuaries, the projected changes in drivers and currently unregulated landuse management. Working closely with the Met Office and UK regulators of flooding, SEARCH will use past and new observations with UKCP18 projections of precipitation, temperature, fluvial flows, storm surge and sea level applied to a hydrodynamic groundwater model to simulate flooding hazards.

This project brings together world-leading researchers in catchment-to-coast environmental science, supported by key policy and industrial partners, to establish a new paradigm in flood risk.

Purpose of the Job

This position aims to develop novel modelling techniques with application to real estuaries throughout the UK to help understand compound flood risk in a range of estuarine environments – and ultimately improve future predictions of one of the key impacts of climate change facing the UK. Existing catchment and coastal models and data are often applied rather crudely, potentially generating large uncertainties in flood inundation and not getting to the root of the problem as to why flooding occurs. In particular, how small catchments respond to interactions of extreme flash fluvial floods in combination with storm surge conditions, represents a poorly understood compound hazard. Only with improved modelling methods and appropriate data sources can we disentangle this problem and use the models effectively to predict future vulnerability to flooding. You will work directly with the UK Met Office using new UKCP18 products, and in partnership with the UK’s environment agencies, researchers at Bangor, Hull and the British Geological Society, to deliver new and urgently needed understandings and data to fundamentally improve our knowledge of compound flooding and flood risk.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

• Set up, validate and run catchment-to-coast models for up to 14 UK systems to simulate compound flooding.
• Publication of science outputs in the peer reviewed literature.
• To attend national and international meetings, and to develop and present science outputs.
• Work closely with colleagues across a range of institutes and with hydrodynamic modellers in related fields.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

• The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
• The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
• The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and well-being and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
• The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training

Essential

  • PhD (or near completion) or equivalent, in hydrodynamic modelling.


Experience/Knowledge

Essential

  • Experience in developing ocean models with application to estuary flooding risk over a range of scales.
  • Experience with computer programming and ocean models, such as MATLAB and Python, LISFLOOD or Deltares.
  • A good publication record in the scientific literature in the field of hydrodynamic modelling.


Desirable

  • High-performance-computing experience.
  • Field-based research experience in hydrology or oceanography.
  • Experience of working with large datasets and data analysis skills.
  • Co-occurrence analysis of river and marine extremes.
  • Familiarity with climate change projections and UKCP18 data.


Skills/Abilities

Essential

  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a network of partners under a variety of settings.
  • Have an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area, and the ensuing responsibilities.


Desirable

  • The ability to communicate in Welsh is desirable for this role.
General

The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We strive to develop a workforce from all sections of the community regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. We promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language through our progressive Welsh Language Policy. We comply with the Welsh Language Standards and are committed to equality of opportunity. You are welcome to apply for any job in English or Welsh and all applications submitted will be treated equally.

We are a member of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Gender Equality charter and hold a Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to and progress towards gender equality within the University’s policies, practices, and culture. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact.

All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references. 

All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements *** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/

Please note that, in the event of applications being received from candidates on the University’s Redeployment Register with a reasonable skills match to the post specification, these applicants will be given prior consideration.

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