University of Iceland

Doctoral students in the field of earthquake engineering at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, University of Iceland - HI14030008

Doctoral students in the field of earthquake engineering at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, University of Iceland - HI14030008

Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland

We seek three doctoral students to work on a project in the field of earthquake engineering and engineering seismology at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre of the University of Iceland.

Project Description

The doctoral students will work within the project “Real-time earthquake fault monitoring and seismic risk assessment using dense geodetic and seismic arrays in urban areas”. The project is funded through a Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Centre for Research.

The project deals with the comprehensive estimation of the elements that comprise localized earthquake risk in dense urban areas. The Icelandic Strong-motion Arrays (ICEARRAY) in dense urban areas have produced unique recordings of ground motions during earthquakes in South Iceland since 2008, and in North Iceland since 2012. Additional data are being collected on a collocated high-rate GPS network. The datasets will be utilized and analyzed to reveal, and construct models of, variable earthquake effects in urban areas and how they relate to earthquake source properties, seismic wave propagation, local site conditions, and different earthquake response of structures. It is the hope that the results lead to new seismic risk maps for the urban areas.

The project entails three distinct, but related, doctoral projects on 1) development of physically based earthquake source models and ground motion simulation from scenario earthquakes on the Húsavík-Flatey Fault in North Iceland, with emphasis on near-fault effects, 2) array data analysis and modeling of the spatial variability of earthquake ground motion due to seismic wave propagation and localized site amplification effects in Húsavík, and 3) the development and implementation of a real-time fault monitoring system utilizing GPS and acceleration data for the purpose of real-time seismic risk assessment during earthquakes.

The principal investigators of this project are Dr. Benedikt Halldórsson, associate research-professor at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre of the University of Iceland and adjunct professor at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland, and Dr. Sigurjón Jónsson, associate professor at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. For further information, contact Dr. Benedikt Halldórsson (



The doctoral projects are multidisciplinary by nature and are suited for students of engineering, geophysics, physics, mathematics, and computer science. Applicants must have completed studies at the Master’s level (before the project starts). It is preferred that they have experience in structural and/or soil dynamics, time series analysis, seismology, and programming. Additionally, applicants need to be able to work independently and be active in shaping the project as it progresses in co-operation with the principal investigators, supervisors and the international research team. Good communication skills and an ability to work in a team are therefore required. A good command of English is required.

The Application

Applicants should describe in detail their motivation in participating in the project (describing how they fit the description of the person we seek and how the project fits them, max 1 page) and how they propose that they can specifically contribute to the project (max 2 pages). The following shall be appended to the application: i) Curriculum Vitae (summarizing education, positions and academic experience), ii) copies of degree certificates (bachelor and masters), iii) official course transcripts, iv) a copy of Masters thesis or another extensive research essay, and v) names and contact information of three referees (name, position, affiliation, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).

How to Apply

The deadline for application submission is 21st of April 2014. Please send full applications to reference nr. HI14030008. The successful candidates will need to send a formal application for a Ph.D. studentship at the University of Iceland in due time, at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences. All applications will be answered and applicants will be informed about the appointment when a decision has been made.

The contribution of the doctoral student to the project will largely constitute his/her doctoral dissertation. Each doctoral student should start on 1 August 2014 (negotiable) and the project is for three years of study and research in full-time employment. The work will be carried out at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, located in Selfoss, Iceland.

In accordance with the University of Iceland´s equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of gender or ethnicity. All appointments to the University of Iceland are treated in accordance with the University´s Equal Rights Policy.

Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English.

The Earthquake Engineering Research Centre (EERC) is a unique centre of the University of Iceland with international recognition ( Research at the EERC is focused on the multi-disciplinary development of fundamental knowledge about societal earthquake effects. In particular the behaviour of structures in an earthquake prone environment using analytical, numerical and experimental methods. The emphasis is on earthquake engineering, applied mechanics and engineering seismology and the synergy between them. Ongoing research projects deal with: strong-motion monitoring using networks and arrays, and strong-motion modelling; probabilistic and computational mechanics focusing on applications in earthquake, ocean and wind engineering; natural hazard and risk assessment; methods for the estimation of structural and non-structural damage in civil engineering structures and lifeline systems; loss and casualty estimation methodologies; planning; risk management.

The University of Iceland was established in 1911 ( The University is structured into 5 academic schools, and 25 faculties. The University offers a diverse range of academic programmes on all levels. The University of Iceland is the only university in Iceland offering undergraduate and graduate studies in all the main disciplines.  In addition, the University of Iceland is an internationally renowned research university with world wide collaborations. 







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