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PhD opportunities in Watershed Engineering

18.04.2017 - Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

I am currently seeking highly motivated and creative graduate students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in the area of Watershed Engineering within the Department of Biological Systems Engineering ( at Virginia Tech starting Fall 2017 (domestic applicants only, given the short timeframe), Spring 2018, and/or Fall 2018.

Project description

I perform fundamental, quantitative research on physical processes in rivers, their linkages to water quality, nutrients, vegetation, and biota, and the interactions between these processes and humans. My work spans spatial scales from entire watersheds to specific reaches to local features (e.g., bend, bar, bedform) utilizing theory, modeling, and field measurements, ultimately to better inform river-basin management. Possible areas of emphasis may include any one or combination of: (1) watershed-scale dynamics of sediment, nutrients, and/or biota, primarily through numerical modeling; (2) river-floodplain-vegetation morphodynamics including the exchange, storage, and/or transformation of water, sediment, and/or nutrients, through a combination of numerical modeling and field work; (3) advancing our fundamental understanding of the coupling between river hydraulics and sediment transport through direct, high-resolution measurements of these processes in the field; or (4) whatever you are interested in pursuing related to the broad theme of river/watershed response to climate and human forcing. Collaboration with other faculty within the department and university is encouraged.

How to apply

Students with a strong background in numerical modeling, programming, spatial analysis, and field work are particularly encouraged to apply. Funding is currently available for exceptional candidates interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Interested students are encouraged to contact me directly to discuss your research interests, background, and goals. For domestic students interested in starting Fall 2017, please contact me by April 28, 2017 indicating your desire to start Fall 2017 and attach a CV and short research statement (less than one page). Given the short timeframe, the sooner you contact me the better. For international students, the earliest start date is Spring 2018. The application deadline for Fall 2018 admission is far away, but interested students are encouraged to reach out to me sooner than later.

For further details and contact information please visit my website here:


Jonathan A. Czuba
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Systems Engineering
Virginia Tech

About Virginia Tech

The Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech is a diverse, dynamic, and rapidly expanding department conducting cutting-edge research in Watershed Science and Engineering and Biomolecular Engineering, while implementing crucial extension programming through Virginia Cooperative Extension. The department is affiliated with two nationally ranked colleges: the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Close collaborations are maintained by the department with many faculty, departments, and institutes across the university and state that are involved in water-related programs, including the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Global Change Center, and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. The department oversees a unique StREAM Lab facility, allowing access to several kilometers of stream channel and floodplain for teaching and research. Virginia Tech is located in the vibrant college town of Blacksburg, VA. Its location in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation, and the university was recently ranked #1 for quality of life by the Princeton Review.