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Job ID: 143164

Postdoc in Catastrophe Modeling Applied to Coastal Infrastructure and Communities
Lehigh University

Date Posted Jun. 19, 2020
Title Postdoc in Catastrophe Modeling Applied to Coastal Infrastructure and Communities
University Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA, United States
Department Civil and Environmental Engineering
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Post-Doc
  • Civil Engineering

A Postdoctoral position at the rank of Research Associate is available, on the topic of Catastrophe Modeling applied to Coastal Infrastructure and Communities. The postdoc will join the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Lehigh and will be co-supervised by Dr. Paolo Bocchini (Lehigh University) and Dr. Jamie Padgett (Rice University). The postdoc will join an interdisciplinary team of postdocs and doctoral students working on various aspects of catastrophe modeling. While the position is at Lehigh University, it is expected that the postdoc will collaborate closely also with Dr. Padgett’s team at Rice University, and there will be the opportunity for visits in Houston, TX. The anticipated scope of the work includes modeling the reliability of coastal infrastructure and the interdependence among its various systems, subjected to hurricane, storm surge and flooding; developing models of recovery; and developing risk informed decision models to support accurate catastrophe modeling and resilience enhancement for current and projected conditions.

Qualifications. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Coastal Engineering or a related field, and have a good record of research, publications, and strong communication skills. Successful candidates will ideally have a strong background in structural or systems reliability, probabilistic modeling, risk assessment with emphasis on hurricanes/surge/flooding, and resilience quantification. Expertise in catastrophe modeling, regional assessment, network analysis and applications of statistical surrogate modeling are preferred. The following experience with software or coding is preferred but not required: LS-DYNA, OpenSees or other finite element software; coding in Matlab and/or python; working knowledge of GIS and Jupyter notebooks. The candidate must have the ability to work independently to achieve project objectives, meet project deadlines and reporting requirements, and help mentor other group members. The candidate also must fill an important role in facilitating collaborations with the multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional project team.

Appointment. The appointment is expected be filled as soon as possible with an anticipated start date of August 1, 2020. This date may be discussed and adjusted as needed. Given the current restrictions due to the COVID pandemic, remote work is acceptable until Lehigh’s campus reopens. The initial appointment will cover one year, with the possibility to be extended. The salary and benefits are competitive, and funding is available for the postdoctoral fellow for travel and training purposes.

Application. The review of applications will start immediately and it will continue until the position is filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible. The appointment is expected to start in the summer 2020.
Application packages should be submitted online at
Inquiries can be sent via email to

Additional Information. Additional details on the research groups with which the Follow will be affiliated can be found at (Bocchini Research Group) and (Padgett Research Group).

For 150 years, Lehigh University has combined outstanding academic and learning opportunities with leadership in fostering innovative research. The institution is among the nation’s most selective, highly ranked private research universities. Lehigh is ranked best in the USA (fourth in the world) for research in Civil Engineering by the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities, which according to Wikipedia is "one of the three most influential and widely observed university measures", especially focused on research. Lehigh’s four colleges provide graduate and undergraduate education to approximately 7,000 students. This project is part of a major investment of Lehigh University in Catastrophe Modeling, and the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with a vibrant cohort of other postdocs and doctoral students interested in this field.

  • Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh is 80 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia, providing an accessible and convenient location that offers an appealing mix of urban and rural lifestyles. The Lehigh Valley International Airport is just six miles from campus. Lehigh Valley cities and towns are regularly listed among the best places to live in the country. Lehigh University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. Lehigh is also a 2010 recipient of an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant for promoting the careers of women in academic science and engineering. Lehigh University provides comprehensive benefits, including partner benefits. Lehigh University also has programs and policies designed to help balance the responsibilities of the professional and personal lives (see also

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Contact Information

  • Paolo Bocchini
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Lehigh University
    Bethlehem, PA


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