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Senior Research Associate

Lancaster Environment Centre
Salary:   £34,189 to £39,609
Closing Date:   Monday 21 January 2019
Interview Date:   Friday 08 February 2019
Reference:  A2537

An exciting opportunity exists for an experienced researcher to work on the radar signature of volcanic ash, and uncertainty in volcanic plume models. This post is part of the NERC-funded Highlight Topic project Radar-supported Next-Generation Forecasting of Volcanic Ash Hazard (R4AsH), led by Lancaster University. 

R4AsH is a collaboration between the universities of Lancaster, Cambridge, Oxford, Reading and St Andrews (with additional partners in the UK Met Office, Italy, Switzerland and the USA), that will address one of the most pressing challenges in volcanic ash hazard forecasting: characterising the source term for volcanic ash transport and deposition models (VATDMs). The project will explore the potential of millimetre-wave radar for providing near real-time measurements of ash particle size and number density in volcanic plumes. It combines laboratory experiments on the radar characteristics of ash, with proximal and distal ash transport modelling, estimates of uncertainty, and constraints derived from the inversion of satellite data. 

This post focusses on (1) laboratory experiments to characterise the radar signature of falling ash particles and (2) characterisation of the uncertainties in volcanic plume dispersion models through numerical simulation. You will be responsible for constructing a laboratory fall chamber for ash particles, which will be instrumented with a bespoke triple-frequency radar constructed by colleagues at the University of St Andrews. You will use this equipment to carry out measurements of radar reflectivity for falling ash particles. The work will also include exploring the effectiveness of radar-based constraints on uncertainties in VATDM forecasts. Core duties will include liaising with project partners, reporting to the research team and disseminating results through high impact scientific publications.

You should hold a PhD in physical volcanology or a relevant quantitative science, and have research expertise in laboratory experimental approaches and computer modelling. You should be self-motivated, collaborative and hold strong communication and interpersonal skills. A capability to work independently and as part of a broader interdisciplinary team is also essential. 

Informal inquiries may be directed to Mike James,

It is anticipated that you will be available to start on 1st April, 2019 and is a fixed term post for 36 months.

We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in Higher Education and research.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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