Friday, June 7, 2013

Two possible Ph.D. positions available

Dear reader,

in the new call of our doctoral school in Trento I proposed two topics which could be of interest for some of your friends, students or people you know. Here they are:

Distributed Modelling of the Hydrological Cycle at large scales (including human impacts)
This regards mainly the development of the  JGrass-NewAGE for the complete closure of the hydrological budgets, in medium to large scale modelling. This requires the implementation and testing of new physical-statistical model of the various terms of the hydrological cycle, and their application to case studies at the scale of hundreds to thousands of square kilometers. At the  moment the model has a first implementation of all the processes that is going to be thoroughly  tested, and the main interest in this research is to go beyond the simple forecasting of hydrological quantities (in space-time) to achieve  the estimation of error bounds in the predictions with the application of appropriate calibration methods, and data assimilation procedures.  The doctoral work is intended to achieve also the application of models and tools to a real case (which could be the river Adige) and will be pursued in coordination with ISTAT, the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the appropriate river Authorities.
The candidates are required to have good programming skills, especially in Java and R (or the will to pursue them), to improve the numerical modeling within the framework of the JGrass-NewAGE system. It is intended that all the tangible work in programming tools is produced as free software, and using free software.  Previous outcomes of the research line can be found at: 
Distributed Modelling and Data Assimilation of the Cryospheric processes
This study involves the modelling and forecasting of the evolution of the snow cover working with the model GEOtop.  Previous Ph.D researchers implemented a one dimensional energy budget of both the snowpack and  freezing soil. They also posed the bases for  further theoretical and numerical improvements of the model, to a 3D version, and eventually including also different constitutive relations, which could be pursued in this research.
The present proposal is especially dedicated to include (or embed) GEOtop modelling with a data assimilation system dedicated to real-time forecasting of the snow cover, depth, and status. The Ph.D. work could be oriented to assimilate either ground data than remote sensing data. 
The work will be made in coordination with Mountain-eering S.r.l, a spin-off of the University of Trento, and Stephan Gruber of University of Carleton (CA). The candidates are required to have good programming skills in Java/C++ (or the will to pursue them) to improve the numerical modeling within GEOtop (C++), and the system that is going to be built around it (Java). It is intended that all the tangible work in programming tools is produced as free software, and using free software.
Information about GEOtop can be found at:
Information about my research on Cryospheric processes at:

As general attitude in my research I believe that research must be reproducible:
and I require the same discipline to my Ph.D. students and collaborators. 
All my research topics, besides these two above are available at:

Programming skills and attitudes (at least to acquire programming skills) are mandatory. Knowledge of commercial softwares not necessary (and its use discouraged along the Ph.D. since, for the core research, I use softwares evolved by my group and my former students for almost everything). 

All the best,

riccardo rigon

Further information can be obtained by writing to claudia.fraizingher (at)
She already wrote to some applicant:

" Dear ***,

with regard to your e-mail below, we inform you that the applications for our Doctorate programme are managed only via the online system. Please check our website: The call for the 29th cycle of the Doctoral School in Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering for the academic year 2013/2014 is open, application deadline is September 30, 2013. All the details relating to the application procedure are specified in the call (read it carefully). The list of research subjects proposed for this edition will be available in the next few days.

I also inform you that the assessment of qualifications and the oral examinations for candidates living abroad who wish to be interviewed in the country where they are currently living, can be arranged with a videoconference, subject to approval by the Head of the School. In this case you will have to complete the online section of the application “Offsite examination“ indicating the reason for such request (work, study, permanent residency, etc.), a Skype account and the address and phone number of a university or diplomatic representation as well as the name of a third person who will confirm your identity at the beginning of the examination. In any case you find all the information on-line. "

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