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PhD student position on “Model Legitimacy Analysis”

... within the Collaborative Research Centre CAMPOS, Stuttgart

What is CAMPOS?
CAMPOS means “Catchments as Reactors: Metabolism of Pollutants on the Landscape Scale”. It is a newly established collaborative research center (Sonderforschungsbereich), funded by the German Research Association (DFG).
CAMPOS is led by the University of Tübingen, with participation of the Universities of Stuttgart and Hohenheim and Institutes of the Helmholtz Society. It addresses the challenge that it is currently impossible to predict how much and how long contaminants affect our environment before they are washed out or degraded. For that reason, CAMPOS investigates the transport and transformation of contaminants in large-scale, long-term processes that occur in the environment.

Job Description
For predicting reactive transport in the environment, many scientific models concepts compete with each other. Among the competing models, more accurate models are typically more complex and require more data for calibration. Thus, a given level of data availability restricts modelers in choosing between available model alternatives. The underlying research question is: what degree of model complexity is legitimate to use in the light of limited data?
CAMPOS will develop a new concept to model reactive transport at the catchment scale. The PhD student position described here is responsible for testing different versions of that new model concept in terms of legitimacy and predictive skills. Several theoretical extensions of the underlying analysis tools will have to be developed. The final desired outcome is to provide guidance for further model improvement within CAMPOS. The foreseen work includes three steps: legitimacy analysis for a single model while working with larger or smaller data sets; extended cross-validation and tests of predictive coverage; and a comparative analysis with several alternative variations of the new model concept. Overall, this will provide insights about the relation between model complexity, model legitimacy, and the corresponding required amounts of available data. The PhD student is expected to collaborate closely with a surrounding team of model analysts and with the adjacent projects that develop the new model concept.

Job requirements
We search for candidates that have completed with excellent standing a PhD-admitting study programme (e.g., Master level) in the area of applied environmental or geo-related sciences, civil or environmental engineering or similar. Skills in programming are mandatory. A focus on environmental simulations or fluid mechanics and knowledge in (geo)statistics is desired. The work includes collaboration with other modelers and with field experimentalists, requiring communication skills and the ability to work in a team.

Application materials include your CV, degree certificates, current transcript of grades (if applicable), a cover letter and a one-page scientific motivation for you to do a PhD on that topic.


Art des Bewerbungszugangs
Please send your application to:
Kontakt für Bewerbungen
​Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Nowak

​Phone: +49-711-685 60113


Details der Stellenanzeige

Befristete Anstellung
Berufserfahrung nicht vorausgesetzt
Deutschland (Baden-Württemberg)
70569 Stuttgart