The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF is part of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and thus of the ETH Domain. WSL focuses on the sustainable use and protection of landscapes and habitats, and a responsible approach to natural hazards. WSL employs approximately 500 people, of whom 140 work at SLF in Davos.
The Research Unit Snow Avalanches and Prevention investigates the formation and dynamics of avalanches, develops warning systems for Alpine natural hazards, and issues the Swiss avalanche bulletin. Its research group “Avalanche Dynamics and Risk Management” is looking for a
PhD Student “Pressure on obstacles induced by granular snow avalanches”
You develop and apply a “Discrete Element Model” (DEM) to simulate the interaction between snow avalanches and obstacles of different shapes and dimensions and study cohesive and cohesionless granular materials that mimic wet and dry snow. You test the model against full-scale experimental data collected at the Vallée de la Sionne test site and provide a physical interpretation of the underlying processes governing the interaction of granular flow and obstacles with the objective of improving the estimation of drag coefficients and shape factors. You publish your results in international scientific journals.
You hold a master degree in Physics, Solid/Fluid Mechanical Engineering or Mathematics and furthermore you have an excellent physical understanding and intuition with strong computational skills. Knowledge of fluid dynamics is expected and experience with DEM modelling is an advantage. You are fluent in spoken and written English; knowledge of German is beneficial.