DCNA’s Young Scientists Program promotes young scientists in the field of disaster prevention and response and offers them access to our network and knowledge. Every three years, doctoral positions are publicly advertised which are funded by the five lead universities of DCNA (Graz University of Technology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, University of Innsbruck, Montanuniversität Leoben and University of the Bundeswehr Munich) and for which students can apply. The positions are complementary to the academic strengths of the universities so that students from different disciplines are addressed (natural sciences, technical sciences, social sciences). The following are the DCNA Young Scientists with their areas of expertise:
Aliaksei Patsekha obtained his educational background in Technology, Equipment and Automation of Mechanical Engineering and Prevention and Elimination of Emergencies at the universities of Belarus. In 2017 completed a doctoral degree (degree of a Candidate of Technical Sciences) in Fire and Industrial Safety at the University of Civil Protection of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus. Since June 2020 Aliaksei Patsekha works as a research associate at the Chair of Subsurface Engineering. His research interests lie in the field of Fire Dynamics and Tunnel Fire Safety.
Jana Çelikler studied psychology with a focus on business psychology at the University of Bremen and Helsingin Yliopisto. She has been a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Professorship for Knowledge Management and Business Process Design at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich since 2018. Since 2019, she has also been a junior member of the RISK research center (risk, infrastructure, security, conflict). Her main research interests include the investigation of communication structures and processes in the staff work of civil protection and disaster control organizations as well as the evaluation of crisis management exercises.
In her dissertation, Jana Çelikler deals with the creation, maintenance and design of communication structures and processes in the staff work of civil protection and disaster control organizations in complex operational situations. As part of a qualitative exploratory study, she evaluates situation discussions by staff that she has documented in the context of participating exercise observations.
Erik Kuschel is a PhD-Student at the Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards (BOKU, Vienna) and a member of the young scientist’s platform within DCNA. His research focuses on the application of state-of-the-art remote sensing techniques for the monitoring and analysis of landslides in high alpine and arctic environments in the light of climate change. He studied Mountain Risk Engineering and Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna, Austria) and further specialised in geohazards, permafrost and geotechnics as Guest Master Student at the University Centre in Svalbard (Longyearbyen, Norway). Within his master thesis he investigated the influence of meteorological factors on debris slides in the vicinity of the Austre Lovénbreen glacier (Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard) based on multi-temporal laser scanning. Erik Kuschel is the Disaster Risk Reduction Science Policy Focal Point for the Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group within the framework of the United Nations since 2021.
Florentin Weiss completed his chemistry studies at the Leopold-Franzens University Innsbruck and wrote his master's thesis at the Institute for Breath Research (method optimization of a gas chromatography mass spectrometer). He then began his doctorate at the same institute and since then has been researching ion chemistry in so-called high-energy ion mobility spectrometers, or HiKE-IMS for short, as part of a stay abroad at the University of Hanover. Since IMS systems have many applications in the field of gas analysis (e.g. breathing air), working with DCNA is particularly exciting.
Matthias Eder completed his bachelor's and master's degree at TU Graz in the field of software engineering. He also works in software development for robotics at IncubedIT in Graz. Since 2019, his doctorate has been working on a concept for the development of methods for measuring trust in assistance systems and the cognitive load caused by their use.
Tobias Schuhmann studied industrial engineering with a focus on stochastic modeling and information engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Since 2018, he has been a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Professorship for Knowledge Management and Business Process Design at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. Since 2021, he has also been a junior member of the RISK research center (risk, infrastructure, security, conflict). His research interests include the (data) analysis of social networks and processes of digital transformation in civil protection and disaster control organizations as well as the evaluation of crisis management exercises.
In his dissertation, Tobias Schuhmann deals with the identification, visualization, and data-based evaluation of network structures in civil protection and disaster control organizations in different situations. As part of a project-accompanying qualitative and quantitative investigation, he evaluates the interaction and communication relationships of members of civil protection and disaster protection organizations using network analysis.
Alexander Kreh is Senior Lecturer and researcher in the working group for emergency psychology and psychotraumatology at the Institute for Psychology at the University of Innsbruck. Since 2020 he is doing research on the psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on different population groups. Within the scope of his dissertation he is focusing specifically on health care workers and emergency staff. As a Psychologist, he is also in training to become a clinical psychologist in Austria and is volunteering for the Austrian Red Cross in the fields of crisis intervention, volunteer and staff support and a psychosocial hotline.
Vinzent Klaus studied meteorology at the University of Vienna and worked in weather forecasting after completing his studies. As part of his doctoral thesis at the Institute for Meteorology and Climatology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, he deals with convective precipitation events and their recording using high-resolution weather radars.
Amir Dastgheib is working at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management and studying at the Doctoral School of Civil Engineering Sciences at TU Graz as a PhD student. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Water Engineering at Islamic Azad University, Iran and monitored the construction of an Ogee spillway scale model in the hydraulics laboratory during his undergraduate level. Afterwards, he obtained a master’s degree in Hydraulic Structures. His master thesis deals with hydraulics of submerged jets using Artificial Neural Networks and Adaptive Network-based Fuzzy Inference System. Since then, he has become even more interested in the interconnection of hydraulics and environmental issues. He was studying his second master in Hydraulic Engineering at TU Delft before joining TU Graz. His main research interests are in the area of river engineering and sediment transport processes, flood risk management, and CFD methods and Machine Learning- Based Modeling in Hydraulic Engineering.
He has published several papers, specifically in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) modeling and their application on hydraulics and water engineering. Additionally, during his academic and professional career he was involved in a number of projects and feasibility studies in the areas of hydrological assessments, hydraulic modeling, erosion and sedimentation, riverine sand and gravel mining, and bank protection and stabilization.