PhD in Remote Sensing - Modelling of East Antarctica’s SMB variability

Department/faculty: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

The Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing conducts a research programme in the disciplines of geodesy and remote sensing, natural geophysics, and climate and atmospheric sciences. It focuses on the interrelation between new observational techniques and applications in engineering and geosciences, including the development of ground-based, airborne, and space-borne methods and models. The department has an internationally leading role in research related to Earth-oriented space research, satellite remote sensing, gravity field modelling, natural hazards, geodynamics and climate studies.

EarthMapps research team under supervision of Stef Lhermitte focuses on opportunities at the intersection of remote sensing and land-surface models. More specifically, it concentrates on the use of multi-source remote sensing to improve our understanding of atmoshere-snow/ice interactions in order to improve their representation in land-atmosphere models. Technologically, we work on developing and integrating innovative methodologies to assess the Earth's surface properties, mainly snow/ice, and to understand their complex spatio-temporal response to climate.

Job description

The Mass2Ant project focuses on assessing dynamics that affect east Antarctica's surface mass balance at different spatial and temporal scales in order to improve our understanding of Antarctica in a changing climate and increase the confidence in future projections.
The selected PhD candidate will work within the international Mass2Ant project, focusing on using multi-source remote sensing in combination with snow models to establish links between local, regional, and large-scale processes to determine the origin of the variability of the surface mass balance. He/she will also participate in Mass2Ant field campaigns in east Antarctica to collect in-situ data on spatio-temporal variations in SMB.


Applicants should have
• an MSc degree in remote sensing, meteorology, Earth system science, or a related field.
• ability to participate in (two) Antarctic field campaigns.
• excellent communication skills demonstrated through a well-written article or thesis, a public presentation or personal blog.
• written and spoken proficiency in the English language.
• experience with data analysis, programming and/or numerical modelling.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Stef Lhermitte, phone: +32 (0)498569351<img title="Call: +32 (0)498569351" style="margin: 0px; border: currentColor; left: 0px; top: 0px; width: 16px; height: 16px; right: 0px; bottom: 0px; overflow: hidden; vertical-align: middle; float: none; display: inline; white-space: nowrap; position: static !important;" src="data:image/png;base64,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">, e-mail: Your application should include (a) a CV, (b) a motivation letter, including possible start date and the names and contact information of at least two references (max. 2 pages), and (c) copies of degree manuscripts and course/grade transcripts. Please refer to vacancy number CITG17-18 in your application. Applications will be reviewed in August, and interviews will be held soon thereafter. The appointment will have a start date as soon as possible. Please e-mail your application by 15 August 2017 to Stef Lhermitte,

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2222 to €2840 per month gross

Closing date
Aug. 22, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Stef Lhermitte, Assistant Professor.

T +32 (0)49-8569351

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Stef Lhermitte/Geoscience & Remote Sensing.