[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD position (Flooding, tropical cyclones and economic impacts)

Gabriele Villarini gabriele-villarini at uiowa.edu
Thu Aug 14 06:18:52 MDT 2014

I am seeking one Ph.D. student to join my research group 
(www.gabrielevillarini.com) in the Department of Civil and Environmental 
Engineering at the University of Iowa, Iowa.

The research is a collaborative effort with economists at the Wharton 
School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania 
(http://www.wharton.upenn.edu). The main goal of the work is the 
development of statistical models to describe the relation between 
inland flooding associated with North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) 
and impacts (direct economic losses and insurance claims) in the United 
States. Inland flooding is of high societal and economic relevance, but 
regretfully has received very little attention as most U.S. TC loss 
assessment efforts are focused on coastal flooding. Moreover, it is 
often the case that the most severe impact from heavy rainfall and fresh 
water flooding is far removed from the center of circulation of these 
storms, up to hundreds of kilometers away. The main outcomes of the 
proposed research will be: 1) the identification of the areas that are 
more at risk from inland flooding from North Atlantic TCs; 2) the 
characterization of the extent and magnitude of these events; 3) the 
development of statistical models relating flood magnitude to direct 
economic losses importantly controlling for the associated exposure and 
vulnerability aspects over the period 2000-2012; 4) the use of the 
resulting empirical relationships to perform sensitivity analysis 
examining the potential impacts of pre-2000 TCs under the current level 
of exposure and vulnerability.

The student will receive a competitive salary and will receive full 
tuition support. Women and individuals representing underrepresented 
groups are especially encouraged to apply.

The selected student will be part of IIHR---Hydroscience & Engineering. 
As a student of IIHR, she/he will have access to an exceptional range of 
resources, including laboratories, instrumentation and equipment, 
mechanical and electrical shops, research computing support, etc. After 
graduation, the student will have the distinction of being an alumnus of 
one of the oldest and most prestigious hydraulics laboratories in the 
world. Additionally, the student will be part of the Iowa Flood Center 
(IFC), the nation's first academic center devoted to the study of floods.

The University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa City has been 
ranked one of the nation's most livable cities (USA Today, 2006), and 
one of the best small metropolitan areas for careers (Forbes Magazine, 
2013). This small city has a population of about 62,000. It is a 
community built around higher education, with vibrant cultural 
opportunities and a long history of international connections, 
leadership, and accomplishment. Iowa City offers the safe, friendly 
quality of life for which the Midwest is known.


The qualified candidate must have a degree in engineering fields or 
climate-related science with a background in hydrologic sciences. 
Individuals with good knowledge of computer programming (in particular R 
and/or Python) and applied statistics are encouraged to apply.

*Interested? Please contact me (gabriele-villarini at uiowa.edu) and 
include the following material:*

1) Cover letter discussing research interests and relevant 

2) Resume

3) Unofficial transcripts and/or GRE scores (TOEFL scores where applicable)

*The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action 
employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will 
receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the 
basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, 
sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, 
associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a 
disability, or status as a protected veteran.*


Gabriele Villarini
Assistant Professor
IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering
The University of Iowa
Civil & Environmental Engineering
306 C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
(319) 384-0596
gabriele-villarini at uiowa.edu

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