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Internship - Numerical Modelling

Internship Rotterdam, NL
Posted 17 Feb 2021

Degree level


Job function


Required languages

Dutch (Fluent)
English (Fluent)

Work experience

0 to 1 years

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Mission to metrics

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To this end, we rely on a thorough understanding of the ocean plastic pollution problem. The Research team at The Ocean Cleanup is tasked with refining our understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of ocean plastics. An important aspect of this work is to understand the distribution of floating plastic in oceanic subtropical accumulation zones.

As we rely on numerical modelling for the simulation of transport and accumulation of floating debris, we need to validate our predictions with measurements. You will be responsible for the comparison of velocities predicted by different oceanic circulation models with measurements of currents conducted in the North Pacific Ocean and their impact on the surface distribution of plastics in the accumulation zones.

By taking on the responsibility of field data analyses and post-processing of numerical model outputs, your objective will be to rank the different models used by The Ocean Cleanup to inform the team on which solution should be adopted in the future to accurately predict the distribution of plastic in the ocean, and ultimately increase the efficiency of our cleanup operations.


Responsible for the analysis of field surface current measurement and comparison with different numerical model outputs and assessment of the impact on the surface distribution of plastics.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the different existing ocean circulation and plastic pollution transport models
  • Working closely with and understanding the needs of our Computational Modelling team
  • Preparing a summary report and deliver a ranking between best circulation models available

Professional Qualifications

  • Bachelor or master's degree in science education
  • Successful completion of oceanography and/or numerical modelling courses
  • Experience with mathematical computing, data analysis, and data visualization
  • Fluent in any one of the following languages: Matlab, Python, or R.
  • Able to clearly present and explain results of complex research to scientists is a plus
  • Fluent in English

Personal Qualifications

  • Can quickly find the essence of a technical challenge and investigate the most relevant/important aspects to get to (or in the direction of) a solution
  • Performs well in a fast-paced and challenging environment
  • Curious, creative, and determined to deliver
  • Flexible team player
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal
Logo The Ocean Cleanup
About The Ocean Cleanup
to company page

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. Our goal is to initiate the largest cleanup in history by mid-2018.

75 employees