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PhD position study fine-scale ocean dynamics

A PhD position is open at the University of Western Australia, in Sydney, to develop and test techniques for measuring fine-scale ocean currents and waves in future high-resolution satellite observations of sea-surface height. The student will use an innovative Lagrangian filtering method to decompose the flow into wave and non-wave components, providing a “ground truth” for wave-current decomposition techniques. The techniques will be tested and validated in high-resolution numerical simulations of ocean dynamics in Australia’s Northwest Shelf. The outcomes of this research will help guide in situ field measurements carried out during the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite mission.

The UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics offers a fully funded PhD scholarship and top-up scholarship in the area of ocean dynamics. The scholarship is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Proposal DP210102745 “Understanding lateral ocean transport at small scales”, a collaboration between UNSW Sydney, the University of Western Australia, the Australian National University, and the French Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer). The outcomes of this project will contribute to the future NASA-CNES Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite mission, to be launched in 2022.

Value: $35,109/year for 3 years ($27,609 ARC stipend rate + $7,500 pa top-up).

Topic Area: This project aims to develop and test techniques for measuring fine-scale ocean currents and waves in future high-resolution satellite observations of sea-surface height. The student, who will be based at UNSW Sydney, will work under the supervision of Dr Shane Keating (UNSW Sydney) and Dr Callum Shakespeare (ANU) to rigorously decompose the flow into wave and non-wave components using an innovative Lagrangian filtering method, providing a “ground truth” for wave-current decomposition techniques. The techniques will be tested and validated in high-resolution numerical simulations of ocean dynamics in Australia’s Northwest Shelf. The outcomes of this research will help guide in situ field measurements carried out during the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite mission.

Eligibility: Applications are invited from domestic and international PhD candidates who are enrolling on a full-time basis. Applicants must have a Bachelor degree with first class honours, Master of Philosophy or Master of Research, or equivalent. The candidate must be eligible to enrol in an accredited Research Doctorate at UNSW. Applicants for this scholarship will not be considered if they do not meet the minimum UNSW requirements for doctoral candidature. Please first check the requirements for admission https://research.unsw.edu.au/higher-degree-research-programs.

How to apply: Eligible candidates should first contact Dr Shane Keating to discuss their interest and suitability for this project by sending an email to s.keating@unsw.edu.au.

Closing Date: Applications will be accepted until January 2023 for a start date in 2023.