Numerical Modeling of Oceans & Estuaries

Contact:  [[v|ykzhange, Dr. Joseph Zhang]]

Full Description
Dr. Joseph Zhang's group at Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and William & Mary is recruiting a new PhD track student starting in Sept 2019. The student will work with the lead developer's team in numerical modeling of ocean and estuaries.

Most urgent issues we are currently facing require fundamental understanding of inter-connected processes at contrasting spatial and temporal scales. We seek understanding of large and complex processes in the fields of geophysical fluid dynamics and biogeochemistry through advanced computing techniques. We are currently developing the next-generation unstructured-grid modeling system based on SCHISM (, for seamless simulation of multi-scale processes from creek to ocean. Our research has a wide range of real-world applications including: general circulations in the fully coupled lake-river-estuary-plume-shelf-ocean-atmosphere system, tsunami and hurricane storm surge hazards, sediment transport, biogeochemistry/ecology/water quality, and oil spill.

Specific research topics for the PhD research include: working on advanced numerical methods and model development; testing/applying the model to multi-scale problems as found in general circulation, sediment transport, biogeochemistry, wave-current interaction, tsunami/storm surge inundation, and associated uncertainty analysis; opportunity to participate in several funded projects (by NSF, CA-DWR, NOAA, EPA, and DOE) on marsh and SAV dynamics, water quality, recurrent flooding, and global carbon cycling.

Applicants must have strong background in computational mathematics, geophysical fluid dynamics, and be committed to learning new approaches in modern High Performance Computing. Motivated individuals are encouraged to contact Dr. Zhang ( prior to submitting an application. Various types of fellowships and additional financial support are available for exceptionally qualified applicants through VIMS Foundation.