PhD Position Experimental Investigations of Volcanism and Rock Weathering on Venus

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 13 May 2024

In the group of Dr. Edgar Steenstra, a laboratory-based PhD project is available that is focused on the experimental investigation of volcanism and rock weathering processes on Venus. The PhD position is part of the ERC Starting Grant VenusVolAtmos, in which we aim to constrain the chemical links and feedback mechanisms between Venus' interior, surface an atmosphere, both experimentally and numerically. Using the new high-pressure, high-temperature lab that is currently being built at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft as part of DPL (Delft Planetary Labs), the successful applicant will conduct experiments simulating lava flow degassing and rock weathering on Venus. The results of this project will significantly aid in interpreting past and future observations of the Venusian atmosphere and surface, and will therefore provide a valuable geochemical framework for upcoming missions to Venus (EnVision, DaVINCI, Veritas).

The main activities are:

(1) Performing laboratory studies in which volcanism and surface weathering processes on Venus are simulated, using surface rock anologues in various high-pressure, high-temperature equipment. Samples will be analyzed using Raman spectoscopy, scanning electron microscopy and/or (nano)-SIMS, both in-house and outside TU Delft. Data will be processed using various thermodynamic approaches and applied to tackle major oustanding issues in our understanding of the enigmatic evolution of Venus.

(2) Active participation in the scientific life and activities of the TU Delft Planetary exploration section, Delft Planetary Labs and the Department of Space Engineering.

(3) Acting as a teaching assistant for assignments and supervision of BSc and/or MSc students.

(4) Presenting scientific results at (inter)national conferences.

You must have a Master-level degree or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g., planetary science, geology, geochemistry, physics, astronomy) by the starting date. Experience with laboratory experiments and analytical techniques relevant to this position is strongly preferred. You must be competent in spoken and written English.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme  for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 270 PhD candidates and close to 3000 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond. 

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

Questions about the position and application procedure can be addressed to Dr. Edgar Steenstra ([email protected] ). 

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 13 May 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • CV;
  • Cover/motivation letter explaining your interest and your qualifications for this position, and how your skills and interests match the requirements and the project;
  • Copy of your MSc degree
  • 300 words abstract of your MSc thesis;
  • Two selected publications (if any);
  • A letter of recommendation.

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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