PhD scholarship in Future sea level changes and contribution from Arctic Ocean

Updated: 2 months ago

Sea level rise will pose increasingly hazard on society in the future. DTU Space is seeking a candidate for a 3-year fully funded PhD position in development of methods for prediction of future sea level and extremes from satellites. Accurate sea level observations using radar measurements from space have been available by satellite altimetry for nearly 30 years. Recently the EU and ESA funded several studies where DTU Space contributes with fundamental knowledge about sea level monitoring and modelling of recent sea level changes with special focus on the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Ocean.

Recent slimate change affects will be more profound in the Polar oceans and with declining ice increasing fresh water will be exported from the Arctic with possible effects in Europe.  

This PhD will carry out cutting edge research on climate change in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. The project targets on the creation of refined methods and algorithms to generate improved information on sea level and geostrophic surface currents in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean based on long-term satellite altimetry measurements in combination with data from other sensors and models.

The generated surface elevation and circulation datasets will be analysed with respect to signatures of climate change and used to perform prediction of future surface circulation and sea level taking in machine learning techniques (in collaboration with a sister ph.d. project). In particular study changes in direction and strength of the ocean currents over the last three decades and exploit their possible impacts on Europe.

Continuation of the altimetry based sea level record is of fundamental to improve the prediction of future sea level at the coast. In 2022 the high resolution American/French SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) mission is expected to be launch and you will be involved with developing method for calibration and processing of these data using machine learning.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The candidate is expected to achieve knowledge regarding remote sensing and physical oceanography. The candidate will work in close cooperation with key researchers at DTU Space and is expected to be contribute to on-going ESA and EU projects. The candidate will also contribute to the ongoing alliance corporation with TU Munich and includes willingness to travel and work in an international environment.

Your primary tasks will be to:

  • Develop methods to take full advantage of satellite altimeter data. Publish the new findings in the international peer reviewed literature
  • Present your research at international conferences and participate in relevant project meetings
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues and be able to work as part of a team with International Corporation from both Europe and the US.
  • Teach and co-supervise BSc and MSc student projects
  • Stay 1 year at TU Munich

We expect the candidate to have:

  • Experience in working with large satellite data sets and development of algorithms
  • At least basic knowledge of altimetry
  • Good expertise in programming, e.g. in Python, matlab or other high-level programming languages.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Ole Baltazar Andersen and Professor Per Knudsen.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

At DTU Space the candidate can take advantage of the vast experience and collaboration with leading international research groups in the field of sea level research.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The PhD will be a joint DTU-TU Munich program and you will be awarded with a double degree in the end.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information may be obtained from professor Ole Baltazar Andersen, phone : +45 45259754,

You can read more about DTU Space at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at  DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 October 2021 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Space is the leading institution of public space activities in Denmark. The mission of the institute is to conduct research, development, public sector consultancy, education and innovation at the highest international level within the following areas: Space Technology & Instrumentation, Earth Observation & Geoscience and Space- & Astro-physics.

The Institute has about 180 employees, an annual turnover of about 160 MDKK and it is located at the Lyngby Campus of the Technical University of Denmark together with 19 other institutes within the technical sciences .

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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