2 PhD studentships at Loughborough University, UK

The Department of Geography has secured 2 PhD studentships aligned with Loughborough University’s strategic research investment in ‘Water Resources’ and ‘Autonomous Vehicles’. Applications are now invited from exceptionally well qualified students who wish to embark on a full-time research degree programme commencing in Autumn Term 2013.

Project 1: Managing flood risks in an uncertain future

Flood risk is one of the major natural disasters globally and its management in an uncertain climatic future is becoming increasingly important. This PhD studentship welcomes proposals along the line of managing flood risk in an uncertain climatic future. The research proposal can focus on one or a combination of the following aspects: (i) modelling the physical characteristics of flood risk; (ii) evaluating its impacts; and (iii) adaptation measures. We are particularly interested in innovative research ideas that utilize novel modelling (e.g. high resolution modelling of fluvial and pluvial flooding), experimental (e.g. laboratory or field) and observational (e.g. using UASs and sensors) methods.

This PhD project will link with existing research projects on flood risks in Loughborough University. The PhD student will be jointly supervised by Dr Dapeng Yu and one or more academics from Geography or other departments in Loughborough, depending on the research direction. Please direct any questions to Dr Dapeng Yu (D.Yu2@lboro.ac.uk).

Project 2: Geo-spatial mapping using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

This project will focus on the use of UAS for the collection of geospatial data and their use in physical geography research. We encourage potential students to approach us with project ideas in any area of physical geography, or who wish to work on technical aspects of UAS development in the context of geospatial imaging/mapping. Potential projects might lie in the area of glaciology/glacial geomorphology (e.g. the distribution dust on glacier surfaces and the effect on albedo/ablation), ecology (e.g. monitoring of forest health in the light of ash dieback), fluvial geomorphology (e.g. reach-scale sediment budgeting), or other areas in which Loughborough has expertise (see http://www.lboro.ac.uk/geography/research/).

The supervisory team will include Dr David Graham (Geography) and Dr Rene Wackrow (Civil Engineering). Other staff appropriate to the project will also be involved. Please direct enquires about this project to Dr David Graham (D.J.Graham@lboro.ac.uk).


Both projects will utilise the Department’s autonomous Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). This is a GPS-controlled fixed wing surveying platform with integrated camera system, developed in association with colleagues in Aeronautical and Civil Engineering. Data processing will utilise the Department’s high-performance PC (equipped with dual Xeon E5 8-core processors, each with 64Gb memory).

They will also benefit from close collaboration with colleagues in the ‘Earth and Planetary Observation and Monitoring’ team at the British Geological Survey (including access to their rotary wing UAS).

About Loughborough University

Internationally renowned for its research excellence, Loughborough University has a vibrant research student community of around 1200 students supported by a £6 million annual investment. Comfortably ranked in the top 20 of all major UK university league tables, the University was awarded The Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-2009 and was voted The Times Higher Education ‘Best Student Experience’ in England for the past six years.

Further Information

Each studentship is valued at £13,726 per year plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and will run for 3 years. Applicants must be eligible to pay tuition fees at UK/EU rates.

For general information about PhD research in Geography at Loughborough and to apply, please contact Sue Clarke (S.N.Clarke@lboro.ac.uk). Please contact the individually named staff for information about the specific research projects.

General information about Department of Geography is available on our website (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/geography).

The closing date for applications is 15 March 2013.

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