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Resilience to wildfires: modelling and forecasting

Between 1988 and 2018, 1.3 million people lost their lives, and 4.4 billion people became injured, homeless, displaced, or in need of emergency assistance by geophysical disasters alone. Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, climate-related disasters were primarily responsible for the 389 recorded events resulting in 15,080 deaths, 98.4 million people affected, and economic losses of at least US$171.3 billion.

Man has dramatically changed fire behavior and regime, converting it into a primarily anthropogenic factor, with more than 464 million ha affected annually by wildfires. Robust projections indicate that the risk of wildfires will continue to increase in most areas of the world as climate change worsens and that the fires will increase excess mortality and morbidity from burns, wildfire smoke, and mental health effects.

This thesis proposes a multidisciplinary approach based on two main axes: Addressing Global threats (Wildfires, Emissions, Wildland Urban Interface, Natech events) and proposing multidisciplinary solutions (Machine-learning-based analysis of Satellite near real-time data, physically based models and probabilistic forecasting for risk assessment).

We offer:
Full-time annual contract for the completion of the PhD and its corresponding training activities. The selected person will be hired every year for a maximum period of 3 years. The gross salary for the first year is 24.410,00 € for the year 2021. In addition, the IIT covers 90% of the fees for the training activities and will have access to all the services offered by the University (Sports, Cultural Activities, Library, etc.).

The candidate must have a master's degree in engineering, physics or mathematics, being especially valuable the knowledge in programing and statistics. Excellent spoken and written English, a good academic report, and ability to work in a team are also required.

Curriculum vitae, academic record, cover letter and two recommendation letters.