Job advertisement PhD student

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European Geosciences Union

PhD student

PhD student

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The University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong is world-class institution that is ranked 25th overall in the world according to the QS world university rankings. The Department of Civil Engineering is among the top 20 in the world (ranked 19th).

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the oldest university in Hong Kong. As an English-medium university with a history that stretches back more than 100 years, it has grown with and helped shape the city from which it takes its name.

Today, HKU is recognized internationally as a dynamic and comprehensive university of world-class standing. With its distinguished excellence in research and outstanding performance in teaching, it attracts first-class teaching and research staff and brilliant students from around the world.

The University’s research students enjoy opportunities to work with leading international researchers and a peer group of resourceful and committed students from different nations in advanced facilities, producing cutting-edge and internationally recognized research work, and developing skills essential for future careers and lifelong learning.

The University has academic links with more than 400 overseas universities and hosts over 10,000 international students. About 66% of its academic staff come from overseas. Extensive exchange arrangements have been established at University / faculty / department levels to promote research collaboration and to provide an international learning environment. Research postgraduate students have opportunities to take part in overseas training and international research collaboration.


Hong Kong, China


Relevant division
Natural Hazards (NH)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship

24428 - 35386 € / Year

Preferred education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

9 June 2020

Job description

This project: Debris flows, which are mixtures of soil and water, surge downslope at high velocities and often result in fatalities and damage to infrastructure. To arrest these flows, barriers are often installed to arrest debris flows. Despite the scientific and engineering value of barriers, they are currently designed empirically. Our knowledge is limited because: (i) fundamental debris flows impact mechanisms are rarely captured in the field; (ii) debris flows are scale-dependent, requiring unique facilities to model the appropriate flow dynamics; and (iii) debris flows dynamics are sensitive to their complex flow compositions.

In this proposed project, unique physical experiments will be conducted using one of the world’s largest flumes to capture the appropriate flow dynamics. The experimental data will be used to calibrate a numerical model and conduct a parametric study to interpolate any missing experimental data. A new analytical framework to design a barriers will be developed and evaluated.

Our Team: The work will be supervised by Clarence Choi. The student would join the Geohazards group consisting of 3 other PhD students and 3 postdocs, working on landslide mechanisms and mitigation of landslide hazards. More details of the research team can be found at

Student Profile: We are seeking a highly motivated individual with a background in geotechnical engineering, geophysics, or geological engineering with a strong quantitative foundation. The successful candidate will be able to work independently, and have a keen interest to do interdisciplinary work on landslide hazard mitigation. Previous experience with experimental and/or numerical (fluid dynamics and/or solid-mechanics) modelling is an advantage. For more information on this project please contact Clarence Choi (

How to apply

Please submit your CV to