PhD position “Snow avalanche dynamics” available at SLF Davos, Switzerland
WSL Institute for
Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF is part of the Swiss Federal
Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and thus of the ETH
Domain. WSL focuses on the sustainable use and protection of landscapes and
habitats, and a responsible approach to natural hazards. WSL employs
approximately 500 people, of whom 140 work at SLF in Davos.
The Research Unit Snow Avalanches
and Prevention investigates the formation and dynamics of avalanches, develops
warning systems for Alpine natural hazards, and issues the Swiss avalanche
bulletin. For the research programme „Climate
Change Impacts on Alpine Mass Movements“, our research group Avalanche Dynamics and Risk Management is looking for a
PhD Student Snow avalanche dynamics
investigate the influence of climate change on the flow behaviour of snow
avalanches. You will use numerical snow cover
simulations to assess the snow cover distribution and layering for
specific avalanche starting zones. Using climate scenarios, the models will be
further applied to predict future changes in snowpack properties. You will use full-scale experimental data
collected at the Vallée de la Sionne test site to provide a physical interpretation
of the underlying processes governing the interaction between avalanches and
snow cover.You will use discrete element modelling and continuum modelling to
investigate the effects of changes in snow stratigraphy and temperature on
avalanche flow. The models should then be applied to calculate
future avalanche scenarios. You will publish your results in scientific journals and present them at
You have a master degree in Physics, Solid /
Fluid Mechanical Engineering or Natural Sciences and experience in handling
large data sets and numerical modelling.
You have good oral and written communication skills in English. You are well
organized, operate independently, and in a structured and efficient way.
Furthermore, you like to work in a team as well as within an interdisciplinary
and practice oriented research environment and are keen to transfer your research into practice.
Please send your complete
application to Jasmine Zimmermann, Human Resources WSL/SLF. Betty Sovilla,
phone +41 (0)81 417 02 63, will be happy to answer any questions or offer
further information. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its
employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply
for this position.