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PhD-student

Over or around the mountains?

Clemens takes his PhD in Dynamical Meteorology. His PhD-project concerns how topography influences the large scale circulation.

Name: Clemens Spensberger

Age: 26

Education: Diploma in Meteorology, equivalent to a Master's from Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg

Takes PhD in: Dynamical Meteorology; more specificly the influence of topography on the large scale circulation.

Supervisors: Thomas Spengler (UiB), Joe LaCasce (UiO)

Why did you choose to study meteorology?

I was interested in (among others ...) physics, computer science and geography. Meteorology combines these three pretty well!

Why should new applicants to UoB choose to study meteorology?

It's more applied than pure physics. And it's "faster" (more action!) than oceanography. And you can see and feel your field of study whenever you walk out of the house-door, wherever you are in the world.

Why did you choose to take PhD?

I wanted to work as a meterologist in some way. That's mainly possible in state weather services (or other parts of the state bureaucracy), insurance companies or ... academia. The latter seemed, and still is, the career path that is to me by far most attractive among those three.

Tell about your PhD-project.

If flow is deflected around a mountain the effect of that mountain on the atmospheric circulation is very different to if the flow just passes directly over the mountain. As the latter case is well studied, I want to contribute to the understanding of the deflected-flow case by first finding examples in Reanalysis datasets and second simulating these examples with a hierarchy of simplified atmospheric models. Using that hierarchy, I can then extract the minimum model that is needed to describe the flow deflection.

What is the best thing about taking a PhD?

As a university-paid Ph.D. student I don't have any project plan that I have to follow. I enjoy the freedom to direct my research to wherever it looks promising and interesting, without having to obey a predefined plan.

What are your plans after completing the PhD?

Stay in academia.