ROLE: UCD Post-doctoral Research Fellow Level 1

HOST: University College Dublin

SUPERVISION: Professor Frédéric Dias

SUMMARY: New approach to field measurement of breaking waves

HIGHWAVE covers simultaneously past, present and future energetic ocean waves. The project research, associated with sustainable environmental science and technology, will help future generations to improve environmental practice. HIGHWAVE is a cutting-edge mathematical project that uses real-time raw data harvested in situ by the project team to develop new models and new algorithms. These new models will provide information about air and water exchange in oceanic environments, boulder deposits, erosion and structural damage.

The postdoc will be based in the School of Mathematical Sciences of University College Dublin. The wave group (5 PhD students, 3 postdocs, 1 lecturer, 1 engineer) has an international reputation in the study of waves and computational fluid mechanics.

The work packages (WPs) of the project are summarized below:

WP schem

The present postdoc position deals with WP4.

The key task of WP4, namely the design of a novel tool to forecast the emergence of breaking waves, builds on three unique features: the wireless approach allows data to be obtained in real time, the distributed network design allows for measurement over an extended area of the ocean and Machine Learning tools allow the development of algorithms to forecast the sea state at other locations and in future.

Three 6-month winter campaigns will allow: (i) to optimise the measurement system; (ii) to develop the required analysis software; (iii) to accumulate a large data set for breaking statistics as function of wind speed, wave age and wave direction. During the first two campaigns, a 5-beam ADCP will be deployed to provide an independent comparison of the measured wave properties.

Even though WP4 is focusing on the new field measurement tool and the forecasting algorithms, comparison with other measurement techniques will be required to validate the new technology. The second key task of WP4 is to apply Machine Learning classification methods on large stereo video datasets to extract patterns of breaking and broken waves that will be used to check the new breaking threshold developed in WP1. Breaking waves will be decomposed into elementary patterns and it will be checked how these patterns relate to the breaking strength.

The key goals expected from this WP include:

  • Deployment of the first wave measurement technology providing full spatial information (amplitude and direction) of a given sea state in real time, regardless of the weather and brightness conditions
  • Development of the algorithms to clean the raw data and to provide the real-time data at 1-minute intervals from the raw data
  • Development of the Machine Learning algorithms to forecast waves, and to detect breaking and broken waves
  • Comparison of the data obtained from the new concept with data obtained from other concepts such as unmanned surface vehicles, ADCP, stereo video, airborne LiDAR. A new algorithm for the extraction of patterns from stereo video datasets will be developed to describe sea states where unbroken, breaking and broken waves coexist.

The annual salary will be between €37,223 and €43,029. The expected duration of the postdoc is 3 years.

Appointment on the above range will be dependent upon qualifications and experience.

Closing date: 17:00hrs (local Irish time) on 28th June 2019.

    • Applications must be submitted by the closing date and time specified. Any applications which are still in progress at the closing time of 17:00hrs (Local Irish Time) on the specified closing date will be cancelled automatically by the system. UCD are unable to accept late applications.
    • UCD do not require assistance from Recruitment Agencies. Any CV's submitted by Recruitment Agencies will be returned.

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