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Long-term coastal change & strategic infrastructure planning


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Saturday 29 February 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Competition funded
Source of funding
Dr David Dawson
Additional supervisors
Dr Natasha Barlow , Prof. Jason Lowe
School of Civil Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Cities and Infrastructure
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The island of the UK rapidly needs a way to prioritise its future coastal infrastructure adaptation needs for ensuring its resilience for future generations of users. To achieve this an understanding of both the future vulnerability and exposure to rising sea levels, and the use of climate services in infrastructure planning &amp; decision making is vital. This studentship will advance a novel cross-disciplinary approach to examining the hazards &amp; socio-economic impacts of newly published climate projections (UKCP18) on coastal infrastructure. The project will blend natural and social sciences to combine digital databases of infrastructure networks &amp; elevation models; future sea-level projections (e.g.UKCP18); risk assessment frameworks; and climate services utility in practice. The studentship requires a strongly motivated researcher that can deliver interdisciplinary research outputs &amp; understanding from the start. It will provide an excellent opportunity to engage with academics, practitioners, and infrastructure managers &amp; policy makers in the field of climate resilience and coastal planning - thus providing a strong opportunity for future work in the field.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p><strong>Background:</strong> Future climate change is expected to increase the frequency of coastal storms and floods, as well as drive rising sea levels (IPCC AR5), and as an island nation, the UK is highly susceptible to the risks of sea-level rise and coastal storms. The UK Climate Programme (UKCP) predict mean sea-level rise around the UK of ~1m by the end of the century. These projections put critical coastal infrastructure, that supports coastal communities and the development and growth of our economy, at increased risk from flooding and disruption. For example, SLR is predicted to increase disruption to coastal transport infrastructure by as much as 1170% in 2100 (Dawson et al. 2016). With improving transport infrastructure a key capital investment in the UK Industrial Strategy (as part of the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge), it is important to identifying potential weaknesses in current networks and begin to understand how this information can assist long-term coastal planning. Critical action in this area is needed (Committee on Climate Change, 2017, 2018), however, &nbsp;a lack of baseline understandings of the boundaries of risk and impacts on the transport network is hindering strategic planning and action. Frameworks for prioritising future adaptation investments are also criticality needed, and must consider both future vulnerability and exposure to hazards (Pregnolato &amp; Dawson, 2018). In order to develop more robust adaptation pathways, the analysis must be integrated with novel approaches allowing the uncertainties of the latest sea-level data to be incorporated into strategic coastal adaptation plans (Dawson et al., 2018). <!--![endif]----></p> <p><strong>The studentship:</strong> In November 2018, new projections of future sea-level rise became available from UKCP (e.g. UKCP18), these outputs provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of future sea-level with which to assess long-term coastal infrastructure risk. Utilising these, this studentship will advance and up-scale a novel cross-disciplinary approach to estimating future infrastructure impacts (Dawson et al, 2016; 2018; Pregnolato &amp; Dawson, 2018). Using databases of UK road and rail infrastructure, alongside high resolution DEMs, those assets at risk of future sea-level rise will be identified and a framework for prioritisation co-developed with the sectors key actors. The project will generate scenarios and pathways to be used for national strategic adaptation planning to increase the resilience of future mobility systems. The UK-based solution can be applied to a global market in future research.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is the&nbsp;Long-term coastal change &amp; strategic infrastructure planning&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;Dr David Dawson (<a href=""></a>)&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>This is a 3 years scholarship funded by the University of Leeds through the Priestley International Centre for Climate. The award will provide tuition fees (&pound;4,500 for 2019/20), tax-free stipend at the UK research council rate (&pound;15,009 for 2019/20), and a research training and support grant of &pound;750 per annum.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For information or an informal discusion of the project please contact Dr David Dawson, e:; t: (+44) 113 343 9548</p> <p>Any enquiries about the application procedure to go to the Graduate School Office Admissions Officer e.g. for Faculty of Environment this is <a href="file:///C:/Users/chmml/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/YPAQRZEB/"></a>.</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>