PhD Position Dynamical Systems Perspective on Clouds

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Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Functie omschrijving

Clouds, specifically shallow clouds over the global oceans, are the largest source of uncertainty for climate projections. During your PhD research, you will explore concepts from the field of dynamical systems theory and statistical physics to improve our understanding and modeling of stratocumulus clouds. In combination with machine learning, you will apply these concepts to analyze large data sets of cloud fields. You will work with existing data from simulations and observations as well as perform your own numerical simulations. Within a broad scope, we will guide you in designing specific research projects that take your own ideas and interests into account.

Your PhD project will be supervised by Franziska Glassmeier and Pier Siebesma. You will be part of the Atmospheric Science research team, which has a strong focus on modeling and observing clouds. In addition to an exciting research project and a friendly and stimulating work environment, we can offer you generous funds for scientific travel. If the situation allows, you may participate in extended research visits abroad, especially to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado (USA), where we closely collaborate with Graham Feingold's group.

The position is located within the department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS). We seek to advance the understanding of dynamic processes on—and human interaction with—Earth, with a focus on atmospheric sciences and geodesy. The approach is based on the development of observation technology as well as the modelling of processes. Our ambition is to create an interdisciplinary research environment in which scientific staff and students explore, learn, and teach. GRS (with about 110 staff members of which 25 faculty staff) conducts a research programme in the disciplines of geodesy, remote sensing, data science, earth-oriented space research, and climate and atmospheric sciences. It focuses on the interrelation between new observational techniques and applications in engineering and geosciences, including the development of space-borne, airborne, and ground-based methods and models. The department has an internationally leading role in research related to 2D and 3D surveying, geodesy, satellite remote sensing, natural hazards, geodynamics and climate studies. Please check the website here.

GRS is one of the 7 departments within the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG). The Faculty is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology and delta technology. The research covers global social issues and is closely connected to education as well as the work of a wide range of knowledge institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to realise these goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. Please click here for more information.

Functie eisen

We are looking for a strong, curiosity-driven candidate who enjoys conceptual thinking and modeling as well as computational data analysis.

To be considered for this position, you must hold a scientific degree (Master's or equivalent). As a suitable candidate, you may come from a range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, Physics, Atmospheric Science and Geoscience, Computational Science and Applied Mathematics. You should have practical programming experience, ideally including data analysis and visualization (e.g. in python). Any prior knowledge you may have about atmospheric modeling or observation, dynamical system theory or statistical physics will be beneficial but is not required. We expect you to work independently as well as in small teams. You should communicate fluently in English (oral and written) and will present your results to the scientific community in the form of peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific meetings. If your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.

Successful candidates will be appointed for 4 years. TU Delft offers an excellent and stimulating research environment with extensive available infrastructure and expertise.


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Informeren en solliciteren

For additional information on the position and the application process, please contact Dr. Franziska Glassmeier (

To apply, please email the following documents, combined into a single pdf document with the filename 'TUD00449_YourLastName.pdf’ to

  • a letter of motivation

  • a detailed CV

  • list of grades/transcripts (bachelor and master)

  • contact information of 2 references

  • if already available: your master thesis

Please refer to vacancy number TUD00449 in your application. Please note that applications will not be processed if all documents required are not compiled into a single pdf document named 'TUD00449_YourLastName.pdf’.

The position remains open until filled. Your application will be given full consideration if you apply before Oct 22, 2020.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

36-40 uur per week
Type vacature:


  • Er is geen minimale opleiding vereist
  • Voor deze functie is er geen minimale werkervaring vereist

Wat wij bieden

€ 2.395,- tot € 3.061,- per maand

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