PhD position in Snow avalanche modeling at University of Innsbruck

Beyond Dense Snow Avalanches
Exploring Regime Transitions in Snow Avalanches



Picture: Georg Mader

Powder snow avalanches and similar gravitational mass flows attract significant attention of science and engineering in alpine regions. The PhD candidate will evaluate state of the art models and, where necessary, develop new ones and combine them with modern numerical methods to develop powerful tools for the prediction of powder snow avalanches and similar geophysical flows. Implementation will be based on the open source library OpenFOAM. Existing modules will be evaluated, applied, extended and finally combined to new solvers. These solvers allow a validation of physical models using real scale avalanches and finally the practical application.

Duration: 3 years

Required qualifications:

  • Master in engineering science or natural science with strong technical focus (e.g. civil engineering, technical physics, technical mathematics, naval architecture/engineering, computer science, geophysics) 
  • Excellent skills in C++, OpenFoam, Linux
  • Experience in gravitational flow modeling
  • High skills in English

Additional requirements:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • The candidate must learn German in the first year, to follow some of the required PhD courses.


  • research on PhD topic
  • teaching and student support
  • scientific publications
  • organisational and administrative tasks
  • vocational training

Applications must be submitted electronically here (from 27.1.2017 to 10.3.2017) (Career Opportunities, Button “Apply online”). Documents should include a letter of motivation, a CV, copy of grade transcripts, the applicant’s research and technical background as they relate to the position, as well as a list of referees.

If you don't have a University of Innsbruck e-mail account, you have to register in Career Opportunities. There, enter your personal data and e-mail address and create a password. You will then receive an e-mail with a link to activate your account. As soon as you have activated the account, you can log in with your user name (= your e-mail address) and your password.

If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact assoc. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fellin (