PhD Scholarship in Fisheries Technology/Engineering

Tuesday 03 Dec 19

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Apply no later than 17 January 2020
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A PhD Scholarship in Fisheries Technology is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) in collaboration with DTU Mechanical Engineering.


The project will be carried out in the Fisheries Technology research group situated in Hirtshals, Denmark. The Fishing Technology Group is part of the Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management of DTU Aqua, which is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark.


The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the development of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. The institute has an international research staff comprising approx. 120 academic employees.


Project description

Towed fishing gears are responsible for a large proportion of global landed catch. These gears, however, can be unselective and often catch non-targeted species, which are then, either discarded at sea or brought ashore for low economic return.

To ensure that these fisheries are both economically and environmentally sustainable there is a need to develop and design fishing gears that can select fish by size and species. The hydrodynamics of the flow through and around fishing gears plays a large role in determining what they catch. It determines the geometry of a fishing gear and the extent to which the netting meshes open, and it influences the swimming performance of fish and their location in and their passage through a gear.

This project will investigate the hydrodynamic processes involved with towing a fishing gear. The research will comprise (i) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) (ii) scaled laboratory experiments, to develop a thorough understanding of the fundamental processes and (iii) field trials at sea. The CFD work will be carried out using OpenFoam, a leading open source code. The laboratory experiments will be carried out at the DTU Mechanical Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory and the sea trials will be carried out on board research and/or commercial fishing vessels.

The specific contents of the project will be formulated in cooperation with the successful candidate reflecting the candidate’s qualifications, and taking into account externally funded projects and ongoing activities. The candidate will join an active, international and cross-disciplinary research team and there may also be the opportunity to collaborate with the fishing and fishing gear industries. The main supervisor will be Barry O’Neill, DTU Aqua, with co-supervision from David Fuhrman and Stefan Carstensen of DTU Mechanical Engineering.

This project will help develop a systematic approach to using hydrodynamics to design and optimise the selectivity of commercial fishing gears. Thus, it will permit the development of gears that will exploit marine biological resources in an economically viable and biologically sustainable way.


Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.


We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Engineering, Aquatic Science & Technology or similar.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Keen interest in research and for working within the field of marine and aquatic sciences
  • Good mathematical or modelling skills
  • Good co-operation abilities

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Barry O’Neill, DTU Aqua, David Fuhrman, DTU Mechanical Engineering and Stefan Carstensen DTU Mechanical Engineering.


We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

For further information about the project, please contact Barry O’Neill, DTU Aqua.

General information may be obtained from Rikke Hansen


Please submit your online application no later than 17 January 2020.


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.


All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are

encouraged to apply.


The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has 260 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Lyngby, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on DANA. You can read more about DTU Aqua on


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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.