PhD proposal on Analysis of Avalanche Dynamics Field Data using Advanced Data Processing Techniques in Sheffield-Grenoble

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PhD proposal on Analysis of Avalanche Dynamics Field Data using Advanced Data Processing Techniques in Sheffield-Grenoble

Eckert Nicolas


The department of Civil and Structural Engineering , University of Sheffield, U.K and IRSTEA (formerly CEMAGREF), Torrent Erosion Snow and Avalanche Research Unit, Grenoble, France.


Nature of the Research:

The aim of this project is to obtain new data and to process existing datasets on the dynamics of flowing snow/avalanches in order to obtain a greater insight into the relevant physics. The primary data source will be velocity profiles from chute experiments and radar data from full-scale test sites.

 The range of methods we will apply to these data (beyond basic filtering and processing) include Hierarchical Bayesian model calibration and time series techniques (including wavelet analysis), and the comparison of real data to synthetic datasets. Through the application of such techniques to the data, we aim to extract much greater detail than previous studies have managed, which will provide new insights into rheology and fluid mechanics, for instance mean velocity profiles and fluctuations as functions of environmental covariates (slope, temperature, grain size, etc.). Thus, within the scope of this project there is the potential for the student to both develop signal processing techniques and to elucidate new physics.



You should be a citizen of the U.K., France or another EU nation with a very good Batchelors degree in a relevant quantitative discipline (Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Geophysics, Engineering). You should have previous experience in statistical modelling and/or data analysis (e.g. as part of an undergraduate or Masters’ level thesis) and a previous familiarity with computer programming or be willing to develop such skills. Your proficiency in English must meet the requirements of the University of Sheffield (IELTS score of 7.0 or higher).

The successful applicant will receive a PhD stipend in line with that awarded by UK research councils, which currently amounts to ¬£13 590 per annum.  In addition, financial support will be provided to fund the Sheffield-Grenoble travels as well as the stay in France and/or Sheffield .

Please e-mail us at [hidden email] and [hidden email] to discuss the project before applying. The on-line application procedure is explained at:


The full add is visible online at


Nicolas Eckert
Irstea (ex Cemagref), UR ETNA
2 rue de la papeterie
38402 St Martin d'Heres
tel: 0033 (0)4 76 76 28 22

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