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

Language of courses:

English

Program director:

prof. RNDr. Peter Babinec, CSc.

Co-Guarantors:

prof. RNDr. Zdenko Machala, DrSc.
doc. RNDr. Ivan Sýkora, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Karol Hensel, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD.

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.

Graduates' Career Opportunities

Graduates of the study program Environmental Physics and Meteorology are applicable:

  1. In academia, as independent researchers or assistant professors. Completion of the program and obtaining a PhD degree enables them for a further career growth and obtaining a 2A qualification or an associate professor habilitation.
  2. In the field of public administration - e.g. as employees of the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, the Research Institute of Water Management, the Institute of Slovak Legal Metrology. Graduation and obtaining a PhD degree enables them to get leading positions, e.g. as employees of the Ministry of the Environment and departmental institutions such as the Slovak Environment Agency, the State Nature Protection Agency, the Environmental Inspectorate, the environmental departments of local governments and area development planning departments, as well as in the health sector in the service of personal dosimetry.
  3. In the private sector in companies with an environmental focus (analysis of samples of environmental components, environmental impact assessment), radiation focus (personal dosimetry, measurement of radioactivity in the environment), as well as meteorological focus, where a PhD degree enables them to obtain leading positions.

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: 1025,50 EUR (6th class, 1st level)
  • after successful completion of the qualification exam: 1 194 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.

List of Supervisors

Mgr. Juraj Bartok, PhD. (Microstep)
RNDr. Pavol Faško, CSc. (Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute)
doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Karol Holý, CSc.
doc. RNDr. Karol Hensel, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Mário Janda, PhD.
RNDr. Miroslav Ješkovský, PhD.
Ing. Jakub Kaizer, PhD.
Mgr. Miroslav Kocifaj, DrSc.
prof. RNDr. Zdenko Machala, DrSc.
Mgr. Katarína Mikulová, PhD. (Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute)
doc. RNDr. Marcela Morvová, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Monika Müllerová, PhD.
RNDr. Pavel Nejedlík, CSc. (SAS)
prof. RNDr. Milan Lapin, CSc.
Mgr. Milan Onderka, PhD. (SAS)
prof. RNDr. Pavel Povinec, DrSc.
doc. RNDr. Ivan Sýkora, PhD.
RNDr. Michal Stano, PhD.
RNDr. Pavel Šťastný, CSc. (Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute)
prof. RNDr. Pavel Veis, CSc.

Thesis Topics for Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Development of radon diagnosis methods of buildings
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Monika Müllerová, PhD.,supervisor: doc. RNDr. Karol Holý, CSc.)
  • Radon in components of the environment
    (supervisor:: doc. RNDr. Karol Holý, CSc., consultants: doc. RNDr. Monika Müllerová, PhD., RNDr. Martin Bulko, PhD.)
  • Impact and control of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) reactive chemical species on liquids and biological materials
    (supervisor:: prof. RNDr. Zdenko Machala, DrSc., consultant: doc. RNDr. Mário Janda, PhD.)
  • Upscaling cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) systems for agrifood decontamination
    (supervisor: prof. RNDr. Zdenko Machala, DrSc., conaultant: doc. RNDr. Mário Janda, PhD.)
  • PIGE/PIXE methods and their application in environmental studies
    (supervisor: Ing. Jakub Kaizer, PhD, consultant: doc. RNDr. Miroslav Ješkovský, PhD.)
  • Determination of natural thorium and uranium using mass spectrometry
    (supervisor: Ing. Jakub Kaizer, PhD.) 
  • Study of effects of cold plasma and plasma-activated liquids in infections 
    (supervisor: prof. RNDr. Zdenko Machala, DrSc., consultant: Mgr. Barbora Konečná, PhD.)
  • Study of the influence of atmospheric stability on the concentrations of radionuclides in the ground layer of the atmosphere
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Karol Holý, CSc., supervisor: RNDr. Martin Bulko, PhD., consultant: doc. RNDr. Monika Müllerová, PhD.) 
  • Chemical kinetic model for thermal and non-thermal plasma 
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Mário Janda, PhD.)
  • Electric discharges in combinations with catalysts and their environmental applacations
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Karol Hensel, PhD., consultant: Mgr. Richard Cimerman, PhD.) 
  • Honeycomb discharge for diesel exhaust cleaning 
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Karol Hensel, PhD.)
  • Application of verification methods to improve numerical weather forecast (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD., consultant: Mgr. Mária Derková, PhD.)
  • Exploitation of the satellite data and products in the numerical weather prediction
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Martin Gera, PhD., consultant: Mgr. Mária Derková, PhD.)
  • Development of accelerator mass spectrometry methods in the CENTA laboratory
    (supervisor: doc. RNDr. Miroslav Ješkovský, PhD., consultant: Ing. Jakub Kaizer, PhD.)

Abstracts of Disertation Theses

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