Watershed AI/ML postdoc opening
UT Austin, Texas, United States
Start reviewing process: 5 October 2021

We are inviting applications for a postdoctoral scholar to participate in hybrid AI/ML large-scale watershed modeling. This position is part of multiyear projects funded by the US Department of Energy. The postdoc will be responsible for
  1. Develop and apply physics-informed ML models for watershed applications. Examples include but not limited to forward & inverse modeling, multifidelity surrogate modeling, transfer learning, and data gap filling.
  2. Perform high-resolution watershed simulations as needed
  3. Synthesize and downscale hydrological and climate model outputs as needed
  4. Assess and interpret model outputs using statistical and explainable AI (XAI) techniques
  5. Present results during regular group meetings and at professional society meetings
  6. Publish in high-impact peer-reviewed journals

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Alex Sun and interact with a dynamic group of hydro researchers at the Bureau of Economic Geology / The University of Texas at Austin. There will be opportunities to pursue independent lines of research related to climate scenarios and climate AI.

PhD (or equivalent international degree) in Environment Water Resources, Atmospheric Sciences, Physical Geography, Applied Math, Statistics, or related field required by the start date.

Strong data science skills and demonstrated knowledge in watershed modeling

Proficiency in Python and one or more machine learning libraries (PyTorch preferred)

Research skills and interests in processing and downscaling climate model outputs and satellite datasets

Knowledge of graph neural nets is desirable but not required

Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills, ability to think critically, and experience in leading high-impact scientific publications

The initial appointment is for one year, with possible annual renewal for another two years based on performance. This is a full-time appointment and the postdoc will be supervised by Drs. Alex Sun. The total duration of an individual’s postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at other institutions. Start date is flexible between October 2021 to April 2022.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience level. Benefits are included.

Interested individuals should send a 1~2 page cover letter and unofficial university transcripts summarizing qualifications and research experience, CV, and names and contact information of three references to Dr. Alex Sun ( Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will continue until the position is filled.

Alex Sun
PhD, PE,
Bureau of Economic Geology
UT Austin

Austin, TX

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Initiative