PhD Position Fully-focussed SAR Altimetry Processing - Application to the Rhine ROFI

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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

The PhD project aims at developing and validating a fully-focused SAR processing scheme for coastal water level retrieval that will be applicable to CryoSat-2, Sentinel-3, and once available Sentinel-6/Jason-CS data. The obtained high-resolution water levels will be exploited to quantify the water level variability due to freshwater discharge in the Rhine region of freshwater influence (ROFI). The analyses include a correlation assessment of the altimeter-derived Rhine ROFI signal with satellite-derived sea surface temperature and ocean colour data. Moreover, you will conduct extensive comparisons with water levels obtained from a high-resolution regional 3D hydrodynamic model and in-situ measurements.

Your PhD project will be supervised by Cornelis Slobbe, Martin Verlaan, and Julie Pietrzak, and is closely related to the ongoing Versatile Hydrodynamics project in which three PhD's work together. In addition to an exciting research project and a friendly and stimulating work environment, we can offer you generous funds for scientific travel.

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 an enthusiastic candidate, motivated to work in a multidisciplinary environment. The candidate should have an MSc in geodesy, oceanography, Earth sciences, or a related area, with a solid background and interest in signal processing and data analysis, and good programming skills. Some experience with remote sensing data processing and, in particular SAR altimetry data processing, and/or hydrodynamic modelling would be appreciated. Candidates should be curious, with cross-disciplinary interests, and critical thinkers. Moreover, they should communicate fluently in English (oral and written). If English is not the mother language and a candidate does not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, a proof of English proficiency should be submitted 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 will not be 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. ir. Cornelis (

To apply, please email the following documents, combined into a single pdf document with the filename 'TUD00454_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 TUD00454 in your application. Please note that applications will not be processed if all documents required are not compiled into a single pdf document named 'TUD00454_YourLastName.pdf’.

The position remains open until filled. Your application will be given full consideration if you apply before Oct 15, 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

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