MPhil project: Inland Water Modelling - Artificial Intelligence-powered Forecast for Harmful Algal Blooms (AIHABs)

Job Description

Project Description (max 300 words)
The AIHABs project is a multi-disciplinary research project funded under the EU Aquatic Pollutants Joint Transnational Call 2020 (www.waterjpi.eu/joint-calls/joint-call-2020-aquaticpollutants) by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The project consortium is led by a team of researchers in the School of Civil & Structural Engineering, TU Dublin and it includes researchers from other six European academic and research institutes.
The main aim of the AIHABs is to develop an early system to forecast the occurrence, spread and fate of emerging cyanotoxins caused by Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in inland and coastal waters. The forecasting system has a modular structure which facilitates integration of the system components. The TU Dublin research team will develop the water quality modelling component of the project using the MIKE software (www.mikepoweredbydhi.com/) developed by the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI). The water quality modelling component comprises two elements (i) a suite of hydrological (inland) and coastal models using the MIKE modelling package to simulate the transport and fate of toxin indicators, especially phycocyanin (PC) and chlorophyll-a (chl-a), and (ii) a statistical model to relate the PC and chl-a concentrations to the toxin levels in the aquatic environment. A number of sites with a history of HABs will be selected for the purpose of the study.

The project methodology entails: (i) selection of study sites, (ii) development of a hydrological model to simulate the runoff to surface water bodies of selected catchments, (iii) development of a water quality model (using MIKE11 to simulate the transport and fate of nutrients and other relevant water quality parameters in the selected catchments, (iv) calibration and validation of the hydrological-water quality model, and (v) using the developed hydrological-water quality model to simulate and assess the water quality of the surface water bodies under a range of climatic and input loading scenarios.

Student requirements for this project
Min 2.2 Bachelor degree (Level 8) in Civil or Environmental Engineering or any closely related discipline

Full funding for a two-year MPhil study including:
Student Stipend: €18,500 p.a.
Fees: Up to €5,750 p.a.
All project expenses and travel.

Deadline: 20th September 2021

Applicants for this project are required to complete an Expression of Interest (www.dit.ie/media/documents/study/postgraduateresearch/EOI%20Form.doc) and email it to [email protected]