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PhD; Non-hydrostatic phenomena in salt intrusions

PhD; Non-hydrostatic phenomena in salt intrusions

Faculteit Technische Natuurkunde
Graduate Program(s)
Applied Physics



Saltwater intrusion in estuaries is characterized by the flow of a wedge-shaped layer of seawater, a ‘salt wedge’, along the bottom as a result of differences in densities between fresh and salt water. In the face of climate change, saltwater intrusion is an increasing problem for many cities and ecosystems along the coast due to rising sea level and the severity of droughts. A national program has been launched to address several challenges that exist around the modelling, prediction, mitigation, and management of saltwater intrusions. This project addresses the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms governing the extent of saltwater intrusion and aims at improving the accuracy of large-scale numerical modelling.  

Project description

In this project, the PhD candidate will investigate the role of non-hydrostatic phenomena in the propagation of saltwater intrusions affected by the tide. For this research, high-resolution numerical simulations of an oscillating salt wedge will be performed, resolving all relevant scales to determine the relationship between mixing processes and the extent of the salt wedge. The role of non-hydrostatic phenomena (breaking of internal waves and the resulting turbulent mixing) is of particular interest, and we aim at providing novel parametrizations that can be implemented in large-scale models.


This subproject will be carried out within the Fluids and Flows group at the Department of Applied Physics ( of Eindhoven University of Technology. The PhD candidate will be supervised by prof. H.J.H. Clercx and dr. M. Duran-Matute. This project is part of the SALTISolutions Perspectief Program that encompasses several national and international partners. 


We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD-student with a strong background in fluid dynamics or physical oceanography, and a strong affinity with both theoretical and numerical tools. You have an MSc in (applied) physics, physical oceanography, applied mathematics or mechanical/civil engineering. As an ideal candidate you should be able to work in a team. You also have good written and oral communication skills in English.


We offer:

  • An exciting job in an active group: Fluids and Flows group with strong national and international collaborations
  • A full-time appointment for four years (start date on or before October 1st 2020) at Eindhoven University of Technology
  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.325,00 (first year) and € 2.972,00 (last year).
  • Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
  • Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, child care, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation is offered for foreign students.
  • Personal development program aimed to develop your social and communication skills (see

Informatie en sollicitatie


Information about the terms of employment and being a PhD candidate at TU/e can be found on the website

For more information about the project and any informal enquiries, please contact Prof. H. (Herman) Clercx and Dr. M. (Matias) Duran Matute. Department of Applied Physics, group Fluids and Flows 
E-mail: h.j.h.clercx[a] or m.duran.matute[a]


If interested, please use 'apply now'-button. You should upload the following:

  • a cover letter explaining your motivation and interest for one or more research groups and topics;
  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and key achievements in research project(s));
  • half-page summary of your MSc thesis;
  • contact information of two references;
  • copies of diplomas with course grades;

Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.

We aim for a starting date of October 1st at the latest. Screening of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.