Hydrodynamic Modeller

University of Stirling

Stirling, UK 🇬🇧

Post Details

Full time
Fixed term for 24 months

The closing date for applications is midnight on Thursday 25 November 2021
Interviews are expected to take place on Thursday 16 December 2021

For the purposes of sponsorship, this is a postdoctoral role under SOC code 2119.

Previous candidates need not apply.

The University of Stirling recognises that a diverse workforce benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers and welcome applications from those who would contribute to further diversification of our staff and ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into the substance of the role. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity. 

The Post

Scotland’s International Environment Centre is looking to appoint a highly motivated Hydrodynamic Modeller to join a multidisciplinary team working on the ground-breaking Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) programme and the development of a world-leading digital catchment observatory for the Firth of Forth in close collaboration with a range of regional and national stakeholders.

The postholder will implement and develop innovative numerical modelling methodologies for analysing catchment-scale and estuarine hydrodynamics, integrating process-based models with complex datasets from a distributed array of sensors and remotely sensed data in order to model a range of aquatic processes in the Firth of Forth catchment.

Working alongside scientists with expertise in water quality, hydrology, ecosystem ecology, Earth observation and data science, the postholder can expect to apply their skill set to a variety of key scientific challenges, such as forecasting storm surge, river discharge, flooding and water pollution events, estuarine biophysical processes and saltmarsh dynamics, as required by stakeholders.  

The postholder will have a strong background in hydrodynamic process-based modelling, experience with state-of-the-art coupled modelling suites for fluvial and estuarine systems (e.g., DHI-MIKE, Delft3D, LISFLOOD), and well versed in assimilation, calibration and validation techniques that exploit a comprehensive range of observational data from sensors and remote sensing data to improve model performance. The postholder will have use of the new SIEC Data Centre which will include a scalable, multi-million-pound high-performance computing infrastructure to be launched in late 2021.

Description of Duties

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and apply innovative hydrodynamic modelling approaches for the creation of added-value data and services for the environmental monitoring and forecasting of catchment, fluvial and estuarine systems
  • Provide advice and technical support both internally to colleagues and externally to stakeholders in the application of numerical modelling approaches and promote their wider uptake as part of the Forth-ERA programme
  • As an integral part of the wider Forth-ERA research team, contribute to the continued development of a strategy for the integration of numerical modelling approaches at all levels of the research programme
  • Identify potential funding sources and contribute to proposals to secure funding, including drafting grant proposals and planning for future proposals from internal and external bodies to support future research
  • Build internal contacts and participate in internal networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration
  • Write or contribute to journal publications, project reports, presentations at conferences and disseminate research findings using other appropriate media.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post

Essential Criteria


  • Honours Degree and PhD in a discipline related to geophysical flows, environmental, coastal or fluvial science and engineering, physical oceanography, applied mathematics or related field

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • The enthusiasm and ability to solve complex problems using numerical models
  • Knowledge of fluvial and estuarine hydrodynamics and how modelling can be applied to solve environmental challenges
  • Experience with implementing proprietary and/or open-source hydrodynamic numerical models (e.g. DHI-MIKE Delft3D, LISFLOOD)
  • Exceptionally strong programming ability in scientific and analytical languages (e.g. R, Python, Matlab, C++, Fortran)
  • Experience in data visualisation for scientific and/or non-scientific audiences using appropriate programming languages
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including evidence of being responsible for a small research project or identified parts of a large project
  • Self-motivation, initiative and independence in thought and working

Desirable Criteria

  • PhD on hydrodynamic modelling of fluvial or estuarine systems
  • Experience with coupling hydrodynamic modules with sediment transport, biogeochemistry and water quality modules
  • Experience with the assimilation of real-time data into hydrodynamic model prediction
  • Experience with developing and optimizing code for modelling of geophysical flows
  • Experience with handling large environmental data sets
  • Familiarity with parallelized modelling in distributed computing architectures, including installation of libraries, compiling and debugging code for high-performance computing clusters
  • Experience with assimilation of rainfall radar data into hydrodynamic modelling

Behaviours and Competencies

The role holder will be required to evidence that they can meet the qualities associated with the following behavioural competencies, as detailed within the AUA Competency Framework.

  1. Managing self and personal skills
    Being aware of your own behaviour and mindful of how it impacts on others, enhancing personal skills to adapt professional practice accordingly.
  2. Delivering excellent service
    Providing the best quality service to external and internal clients. Building genuine and open long-term relationships in order to drive up service standards.
  3. Finding solutions
    Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically to analyse problems and to develop workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.
  4. Embracing change
    Being open to and engaging with new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.
  5. Using resources effectively
    Identifying and making the most productive use of resources including people, time, information, networks and budgets.
  6. Engaging with the wider context
    Enhancing your contribution to the organisation through an understanding of the bigger picture and showing commitment to organisational values.
  7. Developing self and others
    Showing commitment to own ongoing professional development. Supporting and encouraging others to develop their professional knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential.
  8. Working together
    Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.
  9. Achieving Results
    Consistently meeting agreed objectives and success criteria. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done.

About Us

The Faculty of Natural Sciences was formed in August 2016 and encompasses the Divisions of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Computing Science and Mathematics, Psychology and the Institute of Aquaculture. The FNS is a distinctive academic arena where new fundamental understandings of the complex and challenging inter-relationships between human behaviours, technologies, biological, and environmental systems are created, explored and tested.  Results of REF2014 confirmed that our research is regarded as world-leading and internationally excellent. Our research is supported through UK Research Councils, the European Union and a range of research charities and private enterprises.  We work with businesses and public service organizations both at home and overseas to achieve direct and positive outcomes for society across a range of critical problems.

Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES)

The strength of Biological and Environmental Sciences lies in our unique focus on the interface between people and the environment, which positions us well to exploit growing funding opportunities and to develop strong student interest in environmental and ecological systems science and management.  Our research interests are broad, ranging from conservation and evolutionary ecology to environmental processes including carbon and nutrient cycling, aquatic sciences and ecology, pollution, environment and human health, and impact monitoring. Our studies incorporate science, policy and practice; they are used to inform national and international policy makers and practitioners in conservation and environmental regulation, planning and management. Our research and impacts are found in all continents of the world and positions us as a leading institution in Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation. Our location, the City of Stirling, is fast becoming a centre for environmental and conservation activity in Scotland, with four times the national average number of jobs in the environment sector.

The University

The University of Stirling is a leading UK teaching and research-intensive university, created by Royal Charter in 1967. Since its foundation, the University has embraced its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution with a pioneering spirit and a passion for excellence in all that it does.

In 2016, the University launched its current Strategic Plan https://www.stir.ac.uk/about/our-vision/our-strategy/ (2016-2021), with targets to: be one of the top 25 universities in the UK; increase income by ÂŁ50 million; enhance its research profile by 100 per cent; and ensure internationalisation is at the heart of everything it does.

With three-quarters of its research ranked world-leading and internationally-excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014), the University’s groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research makes a difference to society and has a positive impact on communities worldwide. Stirling’s research is making a positive impact on people’s health, education and wellbeing, with key strengths across our research themes of: Cultures, Communities and Society; Global Security and Resilience; and Living Well. The University collaborates with international governments and policymakers, businesses, industry, and charitable organisations, to tackle and provide solutions to some of the toughest global societal challenges.

For more information on working at Stirling, please visit https://www.stir.ac.uk/about/work-at-stirling/.

The University offers great benefits such as generous annual leave and membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Additionally staff can benefit from a reduced membership rate at the University’s excellent Sport Centre facilities.

A full list of FAQs can be found here, we recommend you read these before making your application.

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Terms and conditions of this post can be found here.

After the closing date, this job advert will no longer be available on the University of Stirling website therefore please keep a copy for your records.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development