PhD Student in Experimental Asteroid Research

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 26 Jun 2023

Luleå University of Technology is in strong growth with world-leading competence in several research areas. We shape the future through innovative education and ground-breaking research results, and based on the Arctic region, we create global social benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are conducted in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has a total turnover of SEK 1.9 billion per year. We currently have 1,840 employees and 17,670 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

Northern Sweden is a European space region with several major players collaborating in space technology and space science. Luleå University of Technology provides research and education, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) focuses on space plasma research and instrument development, and EISCAT Scientific Association carries out radar observations of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), with its facility Esrange, provides services and infrastructure for access to space.

The Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Technology is seeking a PhD student to contribute to our growing activities. The position is located at the Division of Space Technology in Kiruna. The division offers a number of Master Degree programs in Space Science and Technology. The division conducts research in the areas of atmospheric science and space systems. The Space Systems group focuses on payloads, spacecraft and launchers for technology demonstration and utilisation as well as space applications and exploration in the upper atmosphere, Earth orbit and planetary space. The research and education activities are supported by high-quality infrastructure such as laboratory facilities for space propulsion, nano satellites, asteroid engineering, and spacecraft avionics.

Subject description
Space systems includes systems for control, instrumentation and communication in the upper atmosphere and in space. Of particular importance are reliable, radiation resistant low-power electronic systems and miniaturization of these.

Project description
You will carry out laboratory experiments on asteroid simulants and meteorites with the ultimate goal to understand the mechanisms that destroy asteroids close to the Sun. You will make use of the Asteroid Engineering Laboratory's new and unique Space and High-Irradiation Near-Sun Simulator (SHINeS) to assess how irradiation comparable to that found close to the Sun affects materials resembling those found on asteroids, and contribute to the development of an analytical and/or numerical model of the destruction process. You will work both independently and in close collaboration with researchers and staff at Luleå University of Technology as well as with experts in Sweden and internationally.

As a PhD student you are expected to perform both experimental and theoretical work within your research studies as well as communicate your results at national and international conferences and in scientific journals. Most of your working time will be devoted to your own research and studies. In addition, you may have the opportunity to contribute to teaching. As a researcher you will be involved in challenging research projects.

You must have a master’s degree or equivalent in geoscience, physics, chemistry, astronomy, planetary science, or a related subject. An ability to work both independently and in collaboration with the Asteroid Engineering Laboratory team and its partners in academia and industry is essential. Experience in laboratory research is meritorious whereas experience in numerical simulations and programming is welcome. You should also have good skills in written and oral communication in English.

For further information about a specific subject see General syllabus for the Board of the faculty of science and technology .

Further information
The fully-funded employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years, but teaching and other department duties may be added with max 20%. Placement: Kiruna. Starting: by agreement.

For further information, please contact Head of Asteroid Engineering Laboratory Associate Professor Mikael Granvik, +46 (0)980 67532 , Chair Professor in Space Systems René Laufer, +46 (0)980-67582 , or Head of Division Victoria Barabash, +46 (0)980 67532 .

Union representatives:
SACO-S Kjell Johansson, +46 (0)920-49 1529
OFR-S Lars Frisk, +46 (0)920-49 1792 .

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should include a CV (including the contact details of at least two teachers and/or researchers that know you and can provide academic references, if requested), a motivation letter describing your background and research interests with respect to the PhD position, and copies of verified diplomas and transcripts from universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

Closing date for applications: June 26, 2023
Reference number: 2155-2023

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