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PhD for MSc in Earth or Computer Science: Meta-modelling of Sustainable City Systems, 100 %, 1 bis 4 Jahre, Utrecht University

#1 von Sylvia , 19.04.2013 11:48

PhD Meta-modelling of Sustainable City Systems (1.0 fte)
Job description
The PhD position is funded by and will be part of the Dutch Climate
KIC programme. The PhD research
will be conduct
ed at the Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, in
collaboration with the PCRaster software development team at the Department and Dutch partner
institutes including TNO and Deltares. The intended starting date is 1
July 2013 and the project will last
for four years.
Project description:
The project aims to set up an integrated modelling approach for providing insights that enable a more
sustainable (re
)utilization and management of energy, water and resource flow
s in sustainable cities. In
particular, the proposal focuses on developing methodology and software to aggregate separate models
of sub
systems (energy, climate, water, resources/waste) into one, integrated meta
model. The result
will be a software framewo
rk with coupled models, which can cope with the complexity of aggregating
information of sub
systems. It will assist in more efficient utilization and re
use of energy, water and
resources in the urban environment, providing models to quantify and visualiz
e spatio
temporal patterns
of impacts on the urban system for various scenarios of spatial planning, climate change, and
technological innovation. Building upon existing technology, a methodology will be developed that uses
formal descriptions of model com
ponents, which provides a means to couple models even when they are
built following different modelling paradigms (e.g. field based, agent
based). This results in flexible
coupling between component models and the possibility of future addition of new mode
ls or data.
You will design, develop and evaluate software approaches to couple various existing spatial and
temporal models of urban systems, and possibly new models. You will do this by extending existing
software frameworks for integrated modelling, i
ncluding software developed by the PCRaster software
development team ( The software and models developed will be tested in one or
more benchmark case studies, which will include a Dutch city (e.g., Utrecht). You will write a number
articles for international peer reviewed journals reporting on the results of the research. The PhD thesis
will be based on these articles.
PhD Climate
You will work on a Climate
KIC innovation project. This project is supplemented wit
h the following
activities and funding to achieve the PhD Climate
KIC EIT label:
theJourney, a one month excursion including visits to European research institutes (including 1
month’s additional pay)
SPARK! seminars and discussions (a total of 5 per yea
Transferable skills courses (a total of 2 Climate
KIC residential courses
In addition the students will have access to
Business coaching
Greenhouse funding
KIC Festival
KIC community and its activities
We seek a highly motivated candidate with:
MSc degree in Earth Science or Computer Science (or related disciplines);
Strong motivation for research;
Keen interest in practical applications of geoinformatics;
Knowledge of spatio
temporal modelling;
Experience with software development;
Knowledge of sustainable management of urban water, waste and energy is a pro.
You should be proficient in English,
have excellent scientific writing and planning skills, and be an
enthusiastic team player. An open and communicative attitude and a cooperative spirit are requirements
for success in this multidisciplinary and applied project. Candidates with a strong bac
kground in software
development willing to learn principles of spatio
temporal modelling are invited to apply. You should be
prepared to develop in
depth knowledge on gaps in your scientific experience e.g. on urban energy,
water and waste cycles and/or in
tegrated modelling.
You are offered a 12
month fulltime position with
at good performance
the prospect of a phased
extension with a maximum of 37 months (in total 4 years fulltime + 1 month). The salary starts
with €
gross per month in the first year and increases to € 2,638.
gross per month in the fourth year of
employment at fulltime appointment.
The extent of these positions officially is 38 hours per week (1.0 fte). The salary is supplemented with
holiday bonus of 8% and an end
year bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition we offer a pension scheme,
a collective health insurance and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective
Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities.
More information:
terms of employment
About the organisation
Utrecht University has great ambition
s for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies
to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth &
Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our s
ociety and contributes to
finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.
The Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere,
atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a population of 2,200 students (BSc and
MSc) and 600 staff, the
Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments:
Innovation and Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, and Human Geography and
Urban and Regional Planning. Further
information concerning the faculty is available at the website General information about Utrecht University can be found at
. Information
concerning our coastal research activities can be
found at
Additional information
Additional information can be obtained from Dr. Derek Karssenberg (
or Prof. Dr.
Steven de Jong (
Applications, including a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae and contact information of three referees,
should be submitted via the applica
tion button below.
Deadline for submission is
April 29,
2013. Interviews are scheduled for
Wednesday May 8, 2013.
Apply until
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