PhD students

The PhD students listed below are working with Delft3D in their PhD research projects. Are you a PhD student working with Delft3D? Click here to send a request to be added to the page!

Zhixuan Feng

Name:
Zhixuan Feng
Professor:
Ad Reniers
University:
University of Miami
E-mail:
Personal page:
Under development
Country:
USA
Start date:
August 2009
End date:
August 2013
Title:
Observations and modeling of microbial water quality at a non-point source subtropical marine beach
Description:

 

 

My PhD research is to study microbial water quality at non-point source beaches. We examine the source loading, transport and fate mechanisms of fecal indicator bacteria, particularly enterococci. Previous studies indicated that beach sands are pervasive sources of bacteria but few models have capacity to simulate microbe release from the sediments. We develop a coupled microbe-hydrodynamic-morpholgical model based on XBeach model and also use larger-domain Delft3D simulations to provide boundary conditions for XBeach. We also develop point model using water column microbial balnace and simplified transport and biological processes. This is intended as a handy tool to predict enterococci level, a guideline for local beach managers to issue advisory and to protect human health at recreational beaches.

Richard Williams

Name:
Richard Williams
Professor:
Stephen Tooth
University:
Aberystwyth University
E-mail:
Personal page:
http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges/staff/
Country:
United Kingdom
Start date:
2009
End date:
2013
Title:
Multi-scale monitoring and modelling of braided river dynamics
Description:

 

 

Numerical modelling of braided river dynamics offers a platform to understand river behaviour and to address river management problems by making quantitative predictions. Recent progress in understanding the fundamental causes of braiding have been advanced through various numerical modelling frameworks. Such approaches have, however, been largely contingent on using abstract boundary conditions, and their predictions have not been rigorously tested using either laboratory or field data.  Making headway on elucidating mechanisms of braiding, and progressing towards making quantitative predictions of river behaviour, have thus been restricted by the absence of attempts to acquire field data to map natural morphological evolution and couple such data to appropriate modelling frameworks. My doctoral research makes use Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) technology to monitor the evolution of a 2.5 km long reach of the braided, gravel-bed Rees River, New Zealand, through a sequence of high-flow events. Coupled to this, detailed observations of flow dynamics, acquired using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (aDcp), provides a dataset of unprecedented detail for evaluating hydraulic and morphodynamic predictions. Early results indicate that morphological simulations yield qualitatively realistic erosion and deposition patterns. However, a novel set of quantitative descriptors are required to evaluate, and thus compare, observed and simulated braidplain morphology.

Peng Dai

Name:
Peng Dai
Professor:
Jinhai Zheng / M.J.F. Stive
University:
Hohai University / Technology University of Delft
E-mail:
Personal page:
-
Country:
China
Start date:
09-2011
End date:
08-2015
Title:
Dynamic Tidal Power
Description:

 

 

In the proposed research work, I invest tidal dynamics under a new way, dynamic tidal power, to employ tidal energy.

Patrick Rynne

Name:
Patrick Rynne
Professor:
Ad Reniers
University:
University of Miami
E-mail:
Personal page:
Country:
USA
Start date:
2010
End date:
2014
Title:
Dynamics of tidal inlets
Description:

 

 

I am interested in exploring the different processes, both small and large scale that contribute to the exchange of estuarine water with the sea through tidal inlets. Since these systems are so large, a complete characterization using only field data is not feasible. Delft 3D not only allows me to forecast conditions and plan a more targeted field effort, it enables me to assimilate the data we collect and better examine the physics behind the system.

Fei Xing

Name:
Fei Xing
Professor:
James Syvitski, Albert Kettner
University:
University of Colorado
E-mail:
Personal page:
Under development
Country:
USA
Start date:
January 2012
End date:
June 2014
Title:
Exploring the role of vegetation on deltaic morphology during storms
Description:

 

 
I am interested in the role of vegetation on delta morphology during the big events, such as hurricanes. As vegetation has been used as a common way to protect coastal area, it was still unclear what is its role during these events. On one side, vegetation stems decrease water velocity, but at the same time, it may increase turbulences. Furthermore, the roots can increase the soil strength, however, they can also be pulled out during storms, leading to a block of soil to be eroded. Delft3D is a widely used software, with all the hydrodynamic and morphological processes included, and also it is developing the aboveground vegetation in the model. I want to explore the impact of root system and combine it within the model, which might help to catch the erosion process, and help guiding the usage of vegetation for coastal protection.

Erik Horstman

Name:
Erik Horstman
Professor:
Marjolein Dohmen-Janssen, Suzanne Hulscher
University:
University of Twente
E-mail:
Personal page:
www.utwente.nl/ctw/wem/organisatie/medewerkers/horstman
Country:
The Netherlands/Singapore/Thailand
Start date:
June 2009
End date:
May 2013
Title:
Short-term biophysical interactions in coastal mangroves
Description:

 

 

This study focusses on two substantial characteristics of mangroves: sediment trapping and attenuation of waves. Our aim is to study these processes both in the field and through numerical modelling. The field data will provide a sound basis for model calibration and validation. Subsequently, the modelling will allow for a thorough analysis of these processes and of their sensitivity to changes to the system.

 

We collected data in several coastal mangrove sites along the Andaman coast of Southern Thailand. For half a year, we mapped bottom elevation and vegetation cover, measured flow velocities, water levels and wave heights, and monitored sediment concentrations and deposition rates. Basic analysis of these field data has provided some insights already in the routing of water and sediments and the attenuation of waves in mangroves.

 

Delft3D will be applied to create a numerical model of one of the field sites in order to simulate tidal-scale hydro- and morphodynamics in this area (the attenuation of waves will be studied in SWAN). The challenge is to create an accurate yet fast model, coping with the highly variable (in space and time) conditions in mangroves. This model will be deployed to study tidal-scale flow routing and sediment deposition in greater detail and to simulate the potential effects of loss of vegetation, sediment deficits and increased exposure.

Christopher Daly

Name:
Christopher Daly
Professor:
Dr. Christian Winter & Dr. Karin Bryan
University:
University of Bremen & University of Waikato
E-mail:
Personal page:
Country:
Germany
Start date:
January 2010
End date:
January 2013
Title:
Morphodynamic Equlilibria of Embayed Beach Environments
Description:

 

 

In the proposed thesis, the complex interaction of hydrodynamics and morphology leading to the evolution of embayed beach environments shall be investigated using a process-based numerical modelling approach. This is addressed primarily from a schematic perspective, as measurements of wave-induced circulation and corresponding short- to medium-term morphological changes are rare for embayed beach environments. In order to obtain measured data, the wave dominated, low energy Tairua and Pauanui beaches in New Zealand, with highest waves occurring during ex-tropical cyclones or mainly swell that is generated by Pacific cyclones, will be monitored for a 9-month period. From this, the influence the single or multiple extreme storm events on the morphological response of the embayment shall be deciphered and compared with average conditions.

Bogdan Hlevca

Name:
Bogdan Hlevca
Professor:
Mathew Wells
University:
University of Toronto
E-mail:
Personal page:
http://individual.utoronto.ca/bhlevca/
Country:
Canada
Start date:
2011
End date:
2015
Title:
Influence of Hydrodynamic Events on Water Quality and Fish Habitat in the Nearshore Zone and Coastal Embayments of the Great Lakes
Description:

 

 

This research aims to answer one important question: How do offshore hydrodynamic processes influence the water quality and habitat for biota in the inshore, such as in coastal embayments?

 

One of the main objective of this research is to characterize the exchange flow generated between littoral embayments and lakes under the influence of barotropic and baroclinic forcing, in particular upwelling events,  from the nearshore waters. The goal is to quantify the extent to which offshore temperature fluctuations affect onshore temperature variability and therefore, the water quality and habitat in the adjacent coastal embayments. Field experiments are employed to measure water levels and temperature fluctuations in the littoral waters as well as in coastal embayments during stratified periods and to determine if the exchange flows driven by such events dominate the circulation and flushing dynamics in the coastal embayments. Numerical models will be applied to nearshore and Toronto Harbour embayments in a nested grid structure to represent accurately the topography and processes. Various forcing scenarios will be studied to evaluate the hydrodynamic and temperature variability responses in the embayments. 
 
Given the complexities that result from multiple forcing mechanisms, the problem of determining lake-embayment exchange must be approached by analyzing a series of short-term field experiments to identify the important physical processes (baroclinic and barotropic) and establish their respective scales and ranges of variability. The time-resolved unsteady, three-dimensional numerical simulations will be conducted to further explore the physical processes themselves and determine the sensitivities of the system. Numerical simulations will be conducted using the hydrodynamic package Delft3D in full 3D baroclinic mode to fully capture stratification and estimate the influence of upwelling events on water quality in coastal wetlands.

Bas Huisman

Name:
Bas Huisman
Professor:
M.J.F. Stive
University:
Technical University of Delft (faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Hydraulic Engineering)
E-mail:
Personal page:
-
Country:
Netherlands
Start date:
summer 2012
End date:
summer 2016
Title:
Surfzone processes determining long-term evolution of sandy coasts
Description:

 

 
This PhD research will focus on interscale relationships that affect the morphological evolution of the surfzone of sandy beaches on decadal time scales. The project is part of the NEMO project (abbreviation of Nearshore Monitoring and Modelling), which focusses on interscale relationships that determine long-term evolution of the foreshore, surfzone and dry beach. Each of these areas will be investigated by a PhD.

Andrés Vargas-Luna

Name:
Andrés Vargas-Luna
Professor:
Alessandra Crosato, Wim Uijttewaal
University:
Delft University of Technology
E-mail:
Personal page:
http://www.citg.tudelft.nl/over-faculteit/afdelingen/waterbouwkunde-v2/waterbouwkunde-nieuw/research-groups/environmental-fluidmechanics/staff/vargas-luna-a/
Country:
The Netherlands
Start date:
November 2011
End date:
July 2016
Title:
Accretion processes in river meanders
Description:

 

 

Predicting long-term response of rivers has been a challenging task for researchers of several disciplines during the last decades. Interaction between the bed topography evolution of channels and the dynamics of opposite banks and floodplains affects the morphological response of rivers to external forcing. This morphological response consists of erosion and accretion processes of river bed and banks. Nevertheless, research conducted so far has focused more on changes of bed topography and on the erosion process of river banks rather than on bank accretion even if accretion is a fundamental process leading to the channel width formation. River bank accretion is governed by geologic and climatic characteristics and is a result of the interaction between water flow, sediment dynamics and vegetation; which in turn affects morphology and development of habitats. Meandering rivers exhibit a rather constant and uniform width on the long term. This means that meandering rivers are characterized by a long-term equilibrium between bank retreat at one side and bank advance at the other side. Since their origins in the early 80s, meander migration models consider that the outer bank in meander bends is eroded at a rate driven by the flow, and as a response the depositing bank of the bend migrates at the same rate passively, maintaining a roughly constant width. This PhD research will develop a physics-based bank accretion model that allows analyzing the joint effect of bed topography and opposite banks dynamics in order to find the conditions for the long-term equilibrium between river bank retreat and advance on meandering rivers. The research will take into account vegetation and fine sediment processes, as well as many other processes (alternation of high and low flows etc.), including different temporal and spatial scales to study the process of river bank accretion. To achieve this, within the current research several strategies will be considered: mathematical analysis, numerical modelling, experiments in laboratory, and field campaigns.