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PhD Studentship in ‘Multi-source remote sensing for enhanced flood modelling’


3.5 year studentship commencing September 2018, jointly funded between Newcastle University and The James Hutton Institute.

For more details:

Application deadline: 5th January 2018

Project Description

Flooding is a major societal challenge with significant direct and indirect impacts. Hydrodynamic models are important for accurately modelling floods and understanding adaptations required to improve resilience. These models require topographic data defining the channel and floodplain. Currently, this is assembled through relatively sparse measurements from cross-sections and walk-over surveys. However, emerging remote sensing techniques are of increasing relevance and offer a non-contact means of deriving detailed topography and other key variables related to hydromorphological characterisation (e.g. pool-riffle sequences, gravel bars, riparian vegetation). Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), in combination with compact digital cameras, can deliver high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthoimagery, which offer a flexible and low-cost approach for reach-scale characterisation. Furthermore, recent developments in airborne laser scanning (lidar) enable remote measurement of river bathymetry and water depth, with huge potential for seamless mapping of fluvial topography. However, there remain significant challenges in intelligent extraction of relevant variables, requiring development of enhanced segmentation algorithms and adoption of big data analytics approaches. This project will collect UAV imagery at an existing test site, and integrate this with bathymetric lidar for reach-scale characterisation of key variables for flood modelling, addressing the identified challenges, and integrating the outputs within an existing hydrodynamic model.

For further details please contact Dr Pauline Miller (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)  


Two Earth Observation job opportunities at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK

Two opportunities ranging from junior to senior scientist grade:

Earth Observation Research and Development Support

Grade: Scientist (£29,874 - £35,346) or Junior Scientist (£22,404 - £27,165)

Appointment: 3 year Full Time Appointment with anticipation of extension to open-ended

Closing Date: 15 Dec 2017

Location: Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK)

PML is looking for a dynamic, remote-sensing scientist to work on a number of new international research and development projects in the PML Earth Observation science group. The projects focus on developing satellite data analysis and processing methods for monitoring water quality in inland, coastal and transitional water bodies from the regional up to the global scale, for operational data processing for research (e.g. climate change studies) and applications (e.g. aquaculture, global monitoring of lakes and coastal seas). The work involves using medium (300m) and high-resolution (10m) optical satellite data in a high-performance computing environment. As part of a team working on inland and coastal water quality remote sensing you will contribute to comparative analysis of Earth Observation scientific methods including different sensors, configurations, and atmospheric and biogeochemical retrieval algorithms for water, data processing, data management, statistical analysis, scientific reporting (oral, written) and presentation of results.


Earth Observation Scientist

Open-ended Appointment

Senior Scientist: (£37,183 - £42,625) or Scientist (£29,874 - £35,346)

Closing Date: 15 Dec 2017

Location: Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK)

PML is looking for a dynamic, mathematically-inclined remote-sensing scientist who will work on developing, testing and implementing novel algorithms for using satellite data to study pools and fluxes of carbon in the ocean. The post-holder will also interface with ecosystem modellers to compare satellite products with model outputs. The scientist will be working on a major international project dedicated to the study of biogeochemical cycles in the ocean, in the context of climate change. The scientist will work in a team led by Shubha Sathyendranath and Trevor Platt.

See: :



Research Fellow in Space Sciences

The Open University is offering a post-doc position - 

The position is within the OU Space Strategic Research Areas,   

They are especially interested in good candidates suggesting topics in Earth Observation.

Interested candidates with EO topics could also contact Armando Marino directly for more details on topics of interest. 

Armando Marino, The Open University, Engineering and Innovation, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA


British Cartographic Society - forthcoming events


Coding for Cartographers (a half-day workshop at UCL to learn how to better communicate with big data)

BCS Better Mapping Seminar (a day workshop to improve cartographic skills)

BCS Annual Autumn Lecture (by Tim Marshall, author of ‘Prisoners of Geography’



Google Earth Engine Workshops (2 sessions)


     Session 1:  09:00 - 13:00   EE-101: A hands-on introduction to Google Earth Engine

     Session 2:  14:00 - 17:00   EE-201: Advanced Earth Engine topics

Where: Google London (near Victoria station)

When: November 15th, 9:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00

Cost: Free, but space is limited


More information and a signup form are at:



MS Amlin Academic Advisory Panel / seeking expertise in hydrology, meteorology, geophysics and structural engineering

MS Amlin writes significant catastrophe risk across its Marine, Property and Reinsurance classes of business. MS Amlin are looking for experts to join their Academic Advisory Panel. The panel is a new initiative to look at the latest academic research in the area of catastrophe modelling (including exposure, hazard and vulnerability) and offer advice and information to a variety of audiences and through a wide range of channels.  By joining the panel, academics will get the opportunity to share ideas, promote and seek industry funding for joined research projects, and of course generate publicity and exposure for the work of their faculties. 

Due to the impact of variables such as climate change and other geo-political factors, as well as newly emerging risks, the risk landscape is constantly changing. This creates a challenge for risk management and the ability to model possible outcomes, stress test extreme scenarios and inform our view of catastrophe risk, an area which assumes greater importance within the business. Whilst we use commercial catastrophe models to quantify MS Amlin’s catastrophe exposure for pricing and portfolio accumulation, we hope that our Academic Advisory Panel will expand our research and knowledge base in the fields of catastrophe modelling. 

MS Amlin are looking for passionate academic experts (at Senior Researcher to Reader/Professor level), based in the UK or continental Europe, with interest in modelling and in-depth knowledge in each of the following fields: 

1. Seismology: A geo-physicist or seismic engineer to help our scientific understanding around earthquake modelling, such as evaluating latest scientific analysis that has been incorporated by the model vendors. 

2. Hydrology: A hydrologist to support our understanding of flood models, such as the underlying hydraulic/hydrologic modelling techniques and latest scientific and policy developments. 

3. Meteorology: A meteorologist with a broad range of knowledge to advise on wind-related perils, climate change impact and atmospheric science in general. 

4. Engineering: A structural engineer with a deep understanding around the engineering of the built environment to support the scientific analysis of damage functions and business interruption in catastrophe models. 

It is anticipated that the Academic Advisory Panel will meet quarterly at MS Amlin offices in London, starting in February 2018, to provide updates of current research trends and new scientific initiatives (datasets, models etc.) in each of the above areas and to exchange ideas. Expenses will be fully reimbursed. 

If you are interested in being part of MS Amlin’s Academic Advisory Panel, or know of any colleagues who may be, please respond by 14 November 2017 with your CV and a cover note outlining how you anticipate you might contribute to the panel.  Dr Tina Thomson, Research Manager, Underwriting Modelling, MS Amlin, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AG - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


NERC - ARF Data Analyst Opportunity

Plymouth Marine Laboratory - £22,404 - £27,165

Job Purpose: To deliver on NERC Airborne Research Facility data processing. This entails processing remotely sensed data acquired by NERC's suite of airborne instruments and maintaining existing processing systems.

Key Deliverables:

•Process raw data from airborne LiDAR, hypersppectral and digital camera systems into a high quality product for delivery to customers.

•Assist with maintenance and development of automated processing systems.

•Assist customers, with support from the NERC-ARF team, on the use NERC-ARF data through the help desk service.

The successful candidate will have:

•A minimum of 2 years experience in Numerical or Image processing

•A Bachelor Degree in Science or Computing

•Excellent IT skills

•Strong communication skills, both written and oral

•Good understanding of numerical skills

•Experience of using remotely sensed data or spatial datasets would be an advantage.

Closing date: Friday 15th September 2017





EO Specialist job opportunity at the JNCC

A new EO job opportunity for an EO Specialist is available at the JNCC.

The role is to be part of a team which focuses on helping countries within the UK, and its Overseas Territories, to identify how EO, combined with other information, can help meet environmental policy and operational evidence needs.


Closing date is 19 June 2017


Satellite Remote Sensing: Disaster Risk Reduction & Insurance Uses

16th September 2016 - 8.30 - 11.00 a.m. (breakfast at 8 a.m.), Lloyd's of London, 1 Lime Street, London EC3M 7HAS

With the recent formation of the Insurance Development Forum the gap between insurance and disaster risk reduction is shrinking.  The insurance industry is starting to take advantage of disruptive technologies and the ubiquity of satellite derived data and products, which have been used within disaster risk reduction and risk management circles for some time.  

This free breakfast briefing will focus on recent catastrophic events and use of the latest remote sensing and satellite technologies for disaster risk reduction and the insurance sector.

Register at


Disaster SIG meeting 2016

Satellite Remote Sensing: Disaster Risk Reduction & Insurance Uses

16th September 2016, Lloyd's of London

Remote Sensing for Disaster Risk Reduction and Insurance, was the theme of a briefing recently held in the Old Library of the Lloyd's Building in the City of London. The event, jointly hosted by RSPSoc and AGI, and sponsored by MS Amlin and Aon Benfield Impact Forecasting, brought together around 90 insurance, risk and remote sensing professionals to discuss how this exciting technology can help traditional and upcoming insurance markets.

The abstract booklet from the meeting is now available HERE


Satellite Remote Sensing: Disaster Risk Reduction & Insurance Uses Programme

1: Introduction

2: Godwin (Lloyd's Claims): New frontiers

3: McCarthy (UK Space Catapult): Satellite services and future technologies of interest to the insurance industry

4: Day (South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications): Space technologies Catapult

5: Jordan (British Geological Survey): Remote sensing to manage geohazard risks

6: Lewis (ImageCat): Uses of remote sensing for exposure management and CAT modelling

7: Ewing (Aon Benfield Impact Forecasting): Using remote sensing data to develop catastrophe models

8: Thomson (MS Amlin): Remote sensing for event response and risk optimisation

9: Teeuw: Uses of free satellite imagery for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Presentation Summaries

Phil Godwin (Lloyd’s claims) set the scene by providing an overview of how remote sensing technology was improving efficiency for claims handlers by reducing costs required for field surveys and overcoming constraints to access affected sites (see Godwin presentation). The resolution of satellite imagery is so good nowadays that we can clearly identify if a building has been destroyed, as used in Fort McMurray, thus adding another layer of confidence in claims handling. Remote sensing is becoming essential if insurers want to keep at the forefront of industry.

Sean McCarthy gave an interesting overview of Government involvement in promoting the UK space industry for the benefit of commercial companies and illustrated how insurers can make use of practical applications and products from Remote Sensing and satellite technologies (see McCarthy presentation). Catapult is looking to break down existing silos in the Earth Observation industry by understanding better what is stopping data being integrated. There are nine Catapult businesses in total, which link together to help bridge academic and business interests. There is opportunity with the latest technology of cube satellites that can be easily released into space, crowed sourced sensors and even video from space: What kind of data can we obtain from these new satellite developments? How can we use this data? And how accessible can it be made for real time information? For example, ground movement and subsidence can be monitored with granular enough data that could predict loss before it happens.

Grant Day went further and talked about typical start-ups with examples of how remote sensing is helping the marine economy and marine applications (see Day presentation). Catapult is supporting funded university projects by helping to turn these into useful products for industry. He pointed out that the space industry is continuing to grow while costs of data are rapidly reducing.

Colm Jordan’s talk focussed on geological risks and the British Geological Survey are using Remote Sensing (RS) data for forecast volcano models, monitoring landslide risks, mapping historical tsunami areas to identify wave behaviour, as well as modelling of future geological risks (see Jordan presentation).

Gavin Lewis, Tina Thomson and Chris Ewing brought examples of how remote sensing and associated products are being used in the insurance industry for exposure management, catastrophe model development, event response and quick assessment of claims (see Lewis, Thomson and Ewing presentations). More work is required to develop early warning systems especially as insurers look to take on more high risks through ceding to pools such as the new Flood Re initiative in the UK. Richard Teeuw and Naomi Morris provided examples for the developing world and how free data can help in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian settings (see Teeuw presenation).

Overall the event provided some insights into how the London market is using remote sensing, highlighting opportunities as the technology is advancing and set to overcome its existing limitations around data availability, resolution, costs and sensors. The Q and A session brought a 'call to arms' to initiate the sharing of RS data for both disaster risk reduction (DRR) and insurance with the common aim of being better prepared and forewarned for natural disasters. A session on the DRR and Insurance theme is now being considered for the 2017 annual conference of RSPSoc.

2011. Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society
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