Are you interested to investigate the intrusion of salt water in rivers during low flow periods with a combination of field measurements and numerical modeling? At the Water Engineering and Management Department of University of Twente we have an active and dynamic group of researchers in Coastal and Hydraulic Engineering.

Salt water intrusion in low lying deltas and estuaries poses a threat to drinking water supply and fresh water availability for industrial and agricultural uses. Increasing sea level and bed subsidence exacerbate the impact of climate on heavily populated areas and threaten their sustainability. The complex nature of salinity exchanges and stratified flows poses limitations on the universal applicability of the current hydrostatic models and the development of new modeling tools is needed.

In this position, you will study how salt accumulates behind the floodgates of the Rhine-Meuse Delta and how salt water and fresh water interact, with emphasis on inland propagation of near bed salt water plume during low flow periods. Special attention will be paid to accumulation of salt water in scour pits. Field measurements at the floodgates will provide valuable data to identify the flow conditions that favor the accumulation of salt at the floodgates and the thresholds at which the salt is entrained again by the flow. This novel dataset in combination with numerical simulations will aid decision makers to effectively manage the scarce freshwater during periods of drought.

This PhD-project will be an integral part of the NWO funded SALTISolutions programme, which has 9 projects. This PhD-project is a collaboration between the UTwente and the WUR and it is part of the project “Grey-green infrastructure solutions” in which two other PhD-projects are positioned at the TUDelft.  The SaltiSolutions programme consists of a large number of scientific and non-scientific partners with an interdisciplinary approach on finding solutions for future salt-water intrusion.

Your profile

  • MSc in Civil Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, or related discipline.
  • Experience with data analysis (e.g. Matlab, Python).
  • Experience or strong affinity with field/laboratory measurements.
  • Sound mathematical/numerical/programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python) and/or experience with numerical flow models such as HEC-RAS, Delft3D etc.
  • Good organizational skills, enthusiastic, independent and don’t mind a challenge.
  • Willing to contribute to the Civil Engineering teaching program and to supervise graduate students.
  • Good communication skills (in English, preferably also in Dutch) and willing to communicate with users and fellow PhD-students.


For more information about the position, you may contact Dr. Vasileios Kitsikoudis (, +31 53 489 9910) or Prof. Suzanne Hulscher (, +31 53 489 4256).

General information on the PhD-programme in our group is given at and more information on the MFS group is available through

Please upload your application via the ‘Apply now’ button. The selection procedure will stop and the project will start as soon as possible after a suitable candidate is found. Your application should include a cover letter (emphasizing your specific interest, motivation and qualifications), a detailed CV, an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education, a publication list (if applicable) and contact details of 2 referees. A (skype) interview will be part of the selection procedure. A Game-Based assessment will be also part of the selection procedure.

Our offer

  • Four year full-time PhD position, with a qualifier in 6-9 months.
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.
  • Tailor-made educational program of at least 6 months (30EC), including visits to conferences.
  • The salary ranges from EUR 2.395,- (1st year) to EUR 3.061,- (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

Apply here:!/1297612/salt-accumulation-at-floodgates-and-salt-water-intrusion-in-rivers