Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
Comenius University Bratislava

Environmental Physics and Meteorology

Doctoral Degree Program

Field:

Physics

Form:

full time / external

Usual duration:

full time form 4 years, external form 5 years

Program director:

prof. RNDr. Peter Babinec, CSc.

Related study programs: master's degree programs Environmental Physics, Renewable Energy Sources, and Meteorology and ClimatologyBiomedical Physics

Description of the Study Program

Environmental physics and meteorology is an interdisciplinary science with a very wide range of research opportunities in academic and research and development institutes and universities (e.g. in the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Research Institute of Water Management, and similar institutions in Slovakia and abroad), also in the field of applied research in technological companies, as well as in the bodies of ministries, the Slovak Environmental Agency, etc.

The graduate with a focus on environmental radiation physics will gain extensive experience in the field of radiation-substance interaction and dosimetry. This predestines him for the positions of radiation physicists, accelerator operators used in the treatment of oncological diseases, as well as for positions in nuclear power plants, especially in the field of dosimetry and monitoring of environmental radioactivity.

The graduate with a focus on renewable energy sources and technological environmental physics, thanks to the acquired broad perspective, can be employed in renewable energy plants, in industrial production companies as the environmental technologist or environmental manager / auditor, as well as in applied industrial research focused on new environmental technologies. The graduate will also be involved in the assessment of environmental risks and in environmental offices.

With a focus on meteorology and climatology, the graduate will gain broader knowledge in the field of analysis of circulating conditions in the atmosphere and their modeling, theory of the Earth's climate system, climate change and future projections, as well as in distance measurements (radar, lidar and satellites) and measurements using modern meteorological instruments. He/she will gain an overview of the latest knowledge from the theory of chemical processes in the atmosphere in relation to meteorological processes, atmospheric chemistry and modeling of local or global transport of emissions in the atmosphere. Graduates will also gain the ability to use advanced statistical methods in processing large volumes of data.

The graduate with combined knowledge of radiation physics and meteorology will be able to perform dispersive modeling of radiation leaks from the nuclear industry into the atmosphere and will be required by state supervisory bodies and international organizations.

In general, our graduates master programming activities and they are prepared for demanding scientific and practical activities in the given fields. Apart from educational institutions, they can be employed in practically all areas of the economy, namely in the transport, agriculture, forestry, water management, state and public administration, as well as in the private sector at all levels of management.

What to Expect

Study part 

In the first two years of the PhD studies, the emphasis is on advanced knowledge of the basic subjects of two main orientations - environmental physics and meteorology-climatology, which are supplemented by selected subjects focused on the topic of the student’s specific dissertation. The focus on environmental physics has two basic directions: Energy sources, pollution and environmental protection, and Radiation environmental physics. The doctoral student has a choice of subjects covering a wide range of issues of the mentioned orientations and scientific directions. By studying the foreign literature, the doctoral student increases his/her professional and linguistic proficiency, complements his/her knowledge in one of the compulsory elective and elective subjects related to the topic of the dissertation and elaborates the methodology for the dissertation. The defense of the dissertation project takes place together with the exam from one of the following thematic areas according to the content focus of the dissertation, with regard to the individually studied literature and the supervisor's recommendation: 

  • Energy sources, environmental pollution and its protection (profile subjects: Combustion processes in energy and transport, Renewable energy sources, Air, water and soil pollution and the spread of pollutants in the environment, Protection and purification of air, water and waste disposal)
  • Radiation environmental physics (profile subjects: Experimental methods of radiation environmental physics, Interactions of environmental systems, Nuclear energy sources, environmental impact and radiation protection, Isotope technologies and tracers in environmental studies, Use of accelerators in environmental research)
  • Physical processes in the atmosphere and in the Earth's climate system (profile subjects: Objects of the Synoptic Analysis and Forecast of Selected Characteristics of the Atmosphere, Physics of the Earth climate system, Climate changes, their causes and consequences, Selected chapters from dynamic and numerical meteorology, Physics of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer)

In the first two years, the doctoral student prepares for public speaking, communication on scientific topics and the transfer of scientific knowledge by participating in the pedagogical process.
 

Scientific part 

The doctoral student is an important part of a scientific team that solves complex scientific problems and tasks. He/she works on a dissertation topic at the level of research and processing of the current state of the art related to the topic of the dissertation. The student is often responsible for managing and solving partial tasks that require the ability to organize teamwork (bachelors and master students) and communicate with the team members, as well as with national/international partners. These acquired skills will allow him a better offer and higher positions on the labor market in the field in Slovakia and abroad.

After the dissertation exam, the doctoral student's activities are mainly focused on investigations under the topic of the dissertation and presenting the achieved results of his/her scientific research in written and oral form at international and domestic scientific forums. The ability of scientific work, selection of methodological procedures, verification of new methodologies is increased by his/her participation in projects of the supervisor, or his/her own research projects, as well as international and domestic study stays in scientific institutions. The doctoral student processes the achieved results into organically integrated scientific articles and publishes them in leading professional journals. The culmination of his professional growth is the final defense of his dissertation, which documents the acquired knowledge, the ability to formulate scientific goals and fulfill them in accordance with the latest scientific knowledge and the trends in the scientific field.

Doctoral Scholarships

Full-time doctoral students who have permanent residency in the European Union are entitled to receive a scholarship for the entire standard duration of their studies. The scholarships are paid starting on the date of enrollment. The scholarship is determined in accordance with the tables included in the Law no. 553/2003 Z.z. as follows: 

  • prior to completion of the qualification exam: 807,50 EUR (6th class, 1st level)
  • after successful completion of the qualification exam: 940,50 EUR (7th class, 1st level)

Scholarships are not subject to taxes or other fees.

Doctoral studies are considered an equivalent to full time employment and in the majority of cases cannot be combined with another employment. Job holding applicants who intend to keep their job are advised to apply for the external (distance) form of doctoral studies. Doctoral students enrolled in the regular form are expected to participate in teaching activities such as conducting recitations or exam grading, in accordance with the needs of their corresponding departments.

Thesis Topics for Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Development of radon diagnosis methods of buildings
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Monika Müllerová, PhD., consultant: doc. RNDr. Karol Holý, CSc.) 
  • Investigations of transport of plasma generated reactive species into aerosols and thin liquid layers
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Zdenko Machala, DrSc., consultant: doc. RNDr. Mário Janda, PhD.)
  • Applications of accelerator mass spectrometry in environmental studies
    (supervisor: Ing. Jakub Kaizer, PhD., consultant: RNDr. Miroslav Ješkovský, PhD.)
  • Application of accelerated ion beams for study of environmental samples
    (supervisor: RNDr. Miroslav Ješkovský, PhD.)
  • Using regional climate models to explore climate variability and temperature extremes in central Europe
    (supervisor: Mgr. Milan Onderka, PhD., consultant: doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD.)
  • Three-dimensional variational data assimilation of high resolution measurements in a convection-permitting setup of the ALADIN/SHMU numerical weather prediction system
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD., consultant: Mgr. Mária Derková, PhD.)
  • Regional climate projections for Slovakia using methods of statistical downscaling
    (supervisor: RNDr. Pavol Nejedlík, CSc., consultant: doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD.)