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Hurricane Rainfall Research Opportunity - Doctoral Student

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) performs research on ocean, estuarine, riverine, and watershed systems in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of Defense (DOD) Task Force in support of the Ocean Commission. A multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and support personnel work in CHL's internationally known, unique facilities. This team has developed state-of-the-art experimental and computational models for solving water resource problems worldwide.

The Research Participation Program for USACE-ERDC-CHL provides opportunities to participate in new and ongoing applied research and development projects. Research projects range from design guidance to three-dimensional computational models.

For more information about USACE-ERDC-CHL, please visit

What will I be doing?

Under the guidance of a mentor, you will join the US Army Corps of Engineers' Coastal Hazards Group (CHG) on integrating the Tropical Cyclone Rainfall (TCR) model into an extended version of the the Coastal Hazards System's (CHS) Probabilistic Coastal Hazard Analysis (PCHA) Framework, intended for assessing compound flooding risks along US coastlines. There are three primary goals for this study that will be documented in a brief report at the conclusion of the fellowship.

You will gain knowledge in the following:

Goal 1: Evaluation of parameterized hurricane rainfall model performance by comparison with observations.

Analyze precipitation frequency estimates from hurricane rainfall models and empirical observations: Collect radar and gauge observations to one. Derive empirical quantiles and collaborate the CHG to compare to hurricane rainfall models' synthetic tropical cyclone precipitation frequency estimates. Explore uncertainties, discrepancies and potential causes and collaborate on bias assessment methods. Research regionalization techniques that can be used to expand precipitation frequency information.  

Goal 2: Assessment of hurricane rainfall models temporal and spatial accuracy.

Assess the accuracy of hurricane rainfall model estimates as relates to pre- and post-landfall physics and quantitative validations, exploring this approach from a spatial perspective instead of the typical averaged assessment. Compare hurricane rainfall models with another method to highlight strengths of the models after landfall. Review literature and compare spatial distribution of the model result with precipitation estimate for recent tropical cyclones.

Goal 3: Application of hurricane rainfall models in Compound Flooding Coupled Modeling Frameworks.

Review methodologies and coupled modeling frameworks for compound flooding simulations and participate in a review of the coupled model system (AdCirc+HEC-RAS+HEC-HMS) and configurations for selected pilot sites, identifying physical factors that may influence its accuracy.

Where will I be located?

Location to be determined.

Why should I apply?

This fellowship provides the opportunity to utilize your skills and learn from experts in hurricane rainfall research.

What is the anticipated start date?

ERDC-CHL is ready to make an appointment immediately. Exact start date will be determined at the time of selection and in coordination with the selected candidates. 

What are the benefits?

You will receive a stipend to be determined by ERDC-CHL. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:

  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training and Travel Allowance

This ORISE appointment is a part-time twelve month opportunity. Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Nature of the Appointment

You will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, you will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.


As an engineering doctoral student, you should have knowledge in coastal engineering, risk assessment, and/or tropical cyclone rainfall hazards.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Degree: Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing