Scholarship code CU1.36

Adaptive response to climate change for safety management airport infrastructures under strong winds

  • Reference person
  • Host University/Institute
    Scuola Univeritaria Superiore IUSS Pavia
  • Internship
  • Research Keywords
    Airport infrastructures
    Extreme winds
    Numerical wind prediction and risk assessment
  • Reference ERCs
    PE10_2 Meteorology, atmospheric physics and dynamics
    PE8_4 Computational engineering
    PE8_5 Fluid mechanics
  • Reference SDGs
    GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
    GOAL 13: Climate Action


Airports are important nodes that facilitate the connectivity by airlines to passengers and freight customers within the EU and further afield. In 2015, Airports Council International estimated the total economic impact of airport and aviation-related activities at €338 billion across theEU. Regardless the positive impact on the global trade, the increasing of extreme winds due to climate change represents a serious threat for such infrastructures, workers and passengers. Accidents in these areas can cause detrimental economic and human losses. On this subject, the project is targeted at improving the awareness of risks and the prevention of detrimental accidents in airports due to strong winds. The goal is to develop an integrated tool to improve the prediction of local-scale wind conditions in an international airport (selected as case study) and assist flight controllers with the safety management of aircrafts and airport infrastructures/facilities during the taxi/idle out. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) will be used to perform simulations on the study area, starting from an historical database of field measurements and km-scale climate simulation. Afterwards, km-scale climate simulations of the near future can be used to investigate how the local-scale wind conditions will modify under climate change and thus evaluate the future risks for the study area. The CFD results, validated by means of experimental tests, will serve as input for the integrated tool.

Suggested skills:

The candidate should have knowledgeof Computational Fluid Dynamics, finite volume method, data analysis andstatistics. Programming skills in Matlab/Python /C++ and knowledge of signalprocessing could also be beneficial. Team working attitude and excellentknowledge of spoken and written English are highly desirable.

Research team and environment

The PhD candidate will carry out theresearch study at IUSS of Pavia, in the CARISMA group, in close collaborationwith SAVE S.p.a. leader in the safety management of airport infrastructures.The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Alessio Ricci, Dr. Giorgia Fosser, Dr.Andrea Manganaro with the scientific support of the University of WesternOntario – Wind Engineering group. The candidate will benefit from the extensiveexperience in climatology, wind measurement and modeling; airport management;risk management of natural and anthropogenic hazards; formulation and proposalof new economic and political models of sustainable development.