RISC-KIT Summer School II

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General information

How can we better prepare for intense coastal storms? How can we predict the intensity of impending storms using real time data? How can we compare and evaluate the potential impacts of different management decisions? During the second RISC-KIT training course, you will learn to do all of this and more. Enrollment is now open for the 5-day “Summer” School, which will take place at in Portugal, in January 2017.

The course will focus on two of the five tools being developed as part of the EU-funded RISC-KIT project. The first of these tools, the Hotspot tool, consists of an early-warning system combined with a decision support system that allows users to look at particularly vulnerable areas of the coastline. Through probabilistic methods, a Bayesian model allows users to predict the potential impact of a storm event based on climatic conditions as they unfold on the ground. It also provides probabilities of different outcomes based on a range of potential management decisions, in the context of real-time storm conditions. The second tool, the multi-criteria analysis tool, allows users to include qualitative factors in their evaluation of alternative management approaches. It allows the inclusion of factors such as local values, human behaviour and opinions.

This course will focus on the modelling and computational elements underlying these RISC-KIT tools. Students will be taught how to set up and use Bayesian neural networks to predict decision outcomes and how to incorporate qualitative measure into disaster risk reduction strategies. PhD students, who have finished at least one year of study, and postdocs are invited to apply; the course is directed at those with a background in: physics, mathematics, oceanography, coastal dynamics, coastal engineering, flood risk and statistics. Basic knowledge on Matlab and programming is required. Experience with XBeach is preferred, but not necessary. Participation in the first Summer School (Ferrara, Italy, September 2016) is not a prerequisite for joining the training course in Portugal.

The second RISC-KIT “Summer” School will take place at the University of the Algarve, Faro, Portugal, from 16 – 20 January 2017. It will comprise theoretical and practical components as well as a field trip to Praia de Faro, part of the RISC-KIT study site, Ria Formosa, Algarve. The course will be given by experts including Drs. Oscar Ferreira and Haris Plomaritis, University of the Algarve; Drs. Robert McCall, Kees Nederhoff, Ap van Dongeren, Deltares; Dr. Karina Barquet, SEI International; Dr. Wiebke Jäger, TU-Delft; and Dr. Dano Roelvink, UNESCO-LHE.                  


The course will address the assessment of coastal impacts using numerical tools such as XBeach and analytical tools such as Bayesian Networks. The course will consist of lectures, practical exercises and a field trip to the case study site of Praia de Faro. Computer facillities will be provided, together with the relevant, open-source software. 

Contact Person: Summer School (summer.schools@risckit.eu )


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Venue: University of the Algarve
Lisbon, Portugal


Open from
11 Jul 2016 to 14 Oct 2016


The course tuition will be provided free of charge. Lunch will also be provided each day during the course. The organisers will also cover the costs of accommodation for all course participants. Accomodation will be booked by the course organisers. Any student who does not wish to avail of the provided accommodation and/or meals will need to make alternative arrangements at their own expense and convenience.

Students will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements and for the costs involved in travelling to Faro. Any additional subsistence costs will also be borne by the students themselves.


The course is open to PhD students (preferably 2nd year or more) and early career scientists (postdocs) with a background in physics, mathematics, engineering, oceanography, coastal dynamics, coastal engineering, flood risk or statistics. Basic knowledge of Matlab and programming is required. Experience with XBeach is preferred, but not necessary. Preference will be given to candidates based in Europe

Application Procedure:

Enrollment for the second "summer school" will be open from 11 July until 14 October 2016. To apply for the course, please send a Letter of Motivation together with an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae to summer.schools@risckit.eu Applications will be evaluated by the convenors and the most suitable candidates will be offered a place on the course. Please note that places are limited and preference will be given to candidates based in Europe. For any questions regarding the summer schools, please email us at the address above, clearly stating Summer School II or Summer School Faro in the subject line.


Academic level: PhD, Lifelong Learning
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