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Numerical, Experimental and stochastic Modelling of vOlcanic processes and Hazard: an Initial Training Network for the next generation of European volcanologists

Final Report Summary - NEMOH (Numerical, Experimental and stochastic Modelling of vOlcanic processes and Hazard: an Initial Training Network for the next generation of European volcanologists)

Volcanic eruptions are a constant concern for many European countries and for Europe as a whole. During last decades disciplines like thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, and advanced experiments and computation, have been incorporated in volcano science, and formalized treatment of uncertainties has become a prominent means of volcanic hazard evaluation. However, critically, such developments have not been accompanied by a comparable evolution of the curricula of students and young scientists undertaking a career in volcanology. The training objective of NEMOH has been that of forming the next generation of European volcanologists, capable of extending further the knowledge and understanding of volcano dynamics and the methods and paradigms for volcanic hazard evaluation. Research Training was conceived to develop in the context of top level, internationally coordinated research structured in closely interconnected WorkPackages. Nine Full Network Partners plus 4 Associated Partners (including two SMEs and one Governmental Civil Protection Department) have composed the NEMOH consortium.
Training has been developed through interrelated local and network-wide activities, and has involved 18 NEMOH fellows for a total of 528 research months, plus nearly 300 external EU and world-wide students to whom active participation to all network activities (16 in total) and NEMOH MC Open Days (4 in total) has been offered. By the end of the project all NEMOH fellows, 40% female, have successfully completed their recruitment period in NEMOH as foreseen; with all calls widely publicized through Euraxess, the NEMOH website, advertisements through dedicated mailing lists, and specific emails that reached literally thousands of universities and research centres throughout the world. Globally, nearly one hundred candidates were examined before appointment as NEMOH fellow.
With respect to the initial training plan in the GA, we added a number of major deliverables in the continuous attempt to improve the offer of high-level training, optimize the network resources, and respond to the high enthusiasm from senior scientists and recruited fellows. Major additions include a 5-days course in Barcelona on parallel programming with applications in volcanology, in March 2013; a 6-days field school at Stromboli volcano on volcano monitoring and surveillance and methods to evaluate the volcanic hazard, in May 2013; a 7-days field school in Iceland on the relationships between tectonics and volcanism and modern methods to quantify volcano deformation, in August 2014; and a 3-days short course in Pisa in March 2015, on thermo-fluid dynamics in computational volcanology.
As from schedule, NEMOH has organized a 6-days network school in Munich in Experimental Volcanology in February 2013, followed by the First NEMOH Marie Curie Open Day; a 4-days network school in Numerical Volcanology in Bristol in September 2013, introduced by a NEMOH mini-conference during which all ESRs presented their research activities, and followed by the Second NEMOH Marie Curie Open Day; a 4-days network school in Dublin on Inversion Techniques in September 2014, followed by the Third NEMOH Marie Curie Open Day at the University College Dublin; two NEMOH sessions and two NEMOH short courses at the EGU General Assemblies in Wien in 2014 and 2015, on “Quantitative and multi-disciplinary volcanology: The next generation” and “Quantitative and multidisciplinary approaches to magma mixing and volcanic processes” (NEMOH co-sponsored sessions), and on “Forecasting Natural Hazards: Methods, Limits and Perspectives” and “Advances in monitoring and hazard assessment at active volcanoes” (NEMOH short courses); a 5 days final network School at Linguaglossa, Catania, at the feet of Mount Etna, in November 2015, on “Volcanic Hazards: from observations to forecasts”, followed by the Fourth MC NEMOH Open Day; and a NEMOH Final Conference in Catania in November 2015, which was also attended by selected international volcano scientists and representatives of the geothermal industry, plus a number of scientists who took advantage of the open conference. We estimate that between 500 and 700 people attended the four NEMOH MC Open Days organized throughout Europe. NEMOH schools included training on additional skills as a fundamental component: poster presentation in Munich; group discussion and extraction of group opinions in Stromboli; abstract writing and oral presentation in Bristol; oral presentation again in Dublin; project writing in Catania. In conjunction with the Mid-Term Review Meeting in Rome in October 2013, the NEMOH ESRs were offered a one-day visit at the Italian Department of Civil Protection (a partner in NEMOH), and a one-day visit and demonstration at the HP-HT labs at INGV in Rome.
Besides participating to network events, the NEMOH fellows have attended 150+ international conferences, workshops, meetings, field trips, and field campaigns; each one developing an original research program as from the Personal Career Development Plan established for each of them at recruitment, then updated when necessary. Any information on the activities developed by each fellow under NEMOH (continuing to-date) is stored in the public access part of the NEMOH website, under network/researchers. As for today the NEMOH fellows have produced 22 papers already published, 12 others submitted, and many others in preparation, in international scientific journals with peer review, directly emerging from thir work in the network. All of them are continuing their research in science, either at the same Institute of their recruitment or at other Institutes. Seven fellows received their PhD during the project, and all others are involved in PhD programs. Several fellows have been awarded price travels, mobility grants, and research grants. One fellow won the prestigious Geological Society of London Presidents Award 2015, and immediately got a permanent position after termination of her recruitment time in NEMOH.
Overall, the results achieved with NEMOH have been beyond the expectations by the same SiC’s and Coordinator. The community created with NEMOH is believed to be a long-standing one, both concerning the partner institutions and the fellows. The secondments program implemented, and additional periods spent at Institutes outside the network, have allowed additional training and skills creating fruitful collaboration and interchange at both fellows and senior scientists level. Associate Partners have provided additional training and (one of them) secondment periods for a number of fellows. All NEMOH activities were solidly governed by the NEMOH Supervisory Board, to which all partners have actively participates. The SB has met nine times, plus a number of teleconference meetings, taking any relevant decision regarding all training and research activities at the network level, use of funds, network organization, school and course plans, outreach activities, organization of the website, etc., truly and effectively representing the NEMOH governing body, and keeping constant interaction and feedback with the fellows who were frequently invited to express themselves on decisions regarding the training programs implemented. As part of this, we collected anonymous feedback after all network training events, available from the NEMOH website (restricted access area, Repository/Milestones). In particular, following the address by the fellows, NEMOH implemented in its 2nd half a network training program much more based on practical activities; as a relevant example, the final school in Catania was constructed around a volcanic crisis simulation exercise, during which the students were asked – with stay-behind guidance by senior advisors and daily feedback – to behave as a real volcano observatory and manage the scientific and technical aspects of the crisis.
NEMOH has maintained a continuous dissemination and outreach activity throughout all its 4-years life, through four NEMOH Marie Curie Open Days mentioned above; six NEMOH Newsletters (instead of the two initially foreseen); two long articles in the International Innovation magazine (; participation (with NEMOH and Marie Curie logos displayed) to several tens of international conferences; articles, citations, etc. in newsletters of other EU initiatives and in local newspapers (see the NEMOH website); opening of the NEMOH Final Conference to external participants; and outstandingly, through the NEMOH website which has received to-date nearly 36,000 visits and 120,000 page views from literally all over the world.