PhD position position in slope stability modelling at University of Innsbruck 

Stability of submerged slopes


Picture: Jasper Moernaut

The stability of slopes above and below the water level of a reservoir is of crucial importance, since a slope collapse can lead to high wave formations thus to huge damages. The determination of the stability of slopes above water is engineering standard and reliable approaches are available. The mechanics of the collapse of an underwater slope is much less investigated, and in the case of submarine slopes an actual research field. The aim of this PhD project is to combine state of the art approaches from soil mechanics and stability theory to find semi-analytical solutions, simple enough to implement them in a GIS environment. The findings will be applied to real case studies. The project is part of the doctoral program ’Natural hazards in mountain regions’ and is carried out in close cooperation between the unit of Geotechnical Engineering and Tunneling and the department of Geology.

Duration: 3 years (30 h per week)

Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fellin (Geotechnics), Prof. Dr. Michael Strasser (Geology)

Required qualifications:

  • Master in civil engineering, environmental engineering or engineering geology with strong technical/engineering focus 
  • Good skills in computer programming
  • Good skills in geotechnical modelling
  • High skills in English

Additional requirements:

  • Ability to work in a team, ability to deal with criticism and conflicts
  • 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

If you are interested, please apply electronically here (from 2018/07/18 to 2018/08/08) (Career Opportunities, Button “Apply online”). Other application procedures are not supported! 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.  Please include written considerations (ideas) on your PhD (max. 5 pages).

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 (