• Placement Reference #: EQU/2020/030
  • Careerwise Placement
  • Aberdeen

Website Marine Scotland

Marine Scotland is responsible for the integrated management of Scotland’s seas. Its purpose is to manage Scotland’s seas for prosperity and environmental sustainability, working closely with our key delivery partners and others.

Job title: Hydrodynamic Model Developer

Department: Oceanography Group, Marine Scotland Science

Location: Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen                                 

Duration: 3 months

Salary:  Approximately £1,610 per month (equivalent to A3 grade)

Placement Ref: EQU/2020/030                  


Basic purpose of the placement and its primary objectives  

The Scottish Shelf Model (SSM) is a numerical hydrodynamic ocean model representing the oceanographic circulation around Scotland. The model provides physical background to many scientific and industrial applications, including tidal energy extraction, oil spill prediction and sea lice dispersal modelling. Although the SSM is managed by Marine Scotland Science (MSS) it is utilised by organisations all over the UK.

The primary objective with this project is to work with the Oceanography group at MSS to assist in the development of the SSM.  More specifically the project will focus on temperature variation of freshwater/river forcing data in international waters. A major part of the project will involve working with large datasets to compare different model forcing datasets to ensure that the most appropriate one is used to drive the SSM model.  A secondary objective of this project is to perform model comparisons and model validations.

This project will give the successful applicant experience in working with large datasets and computer programming, as well as working in a government scientific research institute. They will gain insight into hydrodynamic modelling and the attributes of a successful model, and will contribute to the development of a novel and important resource.

Main duties:  

The job holder will be expected to research the seasonal variation in river temperature and develop temperature climatology either for specific rivers or regions around the UK and the continental coast. This research will involve a review of existing literature and examining existing temperature data. The job holder will then need to incorporate these temperature variations into the SSM model. The job holder may also be required to extract data from the SSM and perform other routine data requests. Students will be required to deliver a short presentation at the end of their internship on their particular project and their findings.

Knowledge and skills required:


  • An understanding of computer programming
  • Experience of high level computer programming languages, such as C, Python, Fortran, Matlab, R, etc.
  • Studying a relevant scientific discipline
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Good numerical skills and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills and able to interpret and present data


  • Experience in Matlab
  • Studying oceanographic or atmospheric sciences

Person skills:

Capable of working independently and as part of a team

Working conditions:  

The suggested project will be based at Marine Scotland Science (Aberdeen) and most of the work will take place in an office environment (Aberdeen). The successful applicant will work closely with members of the Oceanography group at Marine Scotland Science and will gain an insight into working for a scientific institute which is part of a government department.

Person Specification



Studying a relevant numerate scientific disciplineStudying mathematics, physics, physical oceanography or atmospheric sciences
ExperienceComputer programmingExperience in Matlab
Skills/Personal Requirements Communication and interpersonal skills; IT skills including computer programming or scripting; report writing skillsLinux command line skills

 Closing date: January 14th 2020