Postdoc in Hyperspectral and Thermal Remote Sensing of Ecophysiological Traits from Unmanned Aerial Systems

DTU Environment
Friday 12 Apr 19

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The Department of Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Environment) advertises a fully funded 1-year postdoctoral position in hyperspectral and thermal remote sensing of crops using Unmanned Aerial Systems within the project Agricultural Water Innovations in the Tropics, AgWit project (JPI-Water).

The project work will primarily be carried out at the Section for  Air, Land and Water Resources section (ALW), located in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark. The ALW section is focused on research of global climate change, air pollution, hydrology, and interactions of the terrestrial biosphere with the hydrological cycle and atmosphere. Special focus is on water resources, land surface fluxes and greenhouse gas exchange between the atmosphere and natural and anthropogenic systems. Advanced techniques like tracer gas and eddy-covariance flux measurements, experimental manipulation of ecosystems, remote sensing, and modelling are used.

The project aims to quantify water and carbon footprints of crops using hyperspectral, multispectral and thermal imagery from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), assess the use of biochar and land use/cover changes and upscale the results to regional scale using satellite data.  Biophysical variables related with plant physiology and hydraulic traits will be derived from UAS and incorporated into evapotranspiration and gross primary productivity models.

Responsibilities and tasks
The successful applicant will contribute to advancement of synergic uses of hyperspectral and thermal sensors for sensing ecophysiological traits DTU Environment. The postdoc will access an existing set of ground and UAS hyperspectral, thermal and multispectral data already acquired over different agro-ecohydrological observatories.

The postdoc will be responsible for:
  • Implementing image workflows: orthorectification, geometric, radiometric and atmospheric corrections.
  • Estimate biophysical variables using indices, machine learning methods and Radiative Transfer Models (RTM).
  • Incorporate such information to improve existing gross primary productivity and evapotranspiration algorithms and validate with ground observations.
  • Coordination of research with other team members and participation in meetings.
  • Publication of scientific results in high level impact journals and presented at international conferences.

The postdoc will engage in an international team with scientists from DTU Environment, DTU Photonics and DTU Space, and international institutions (University of British Columbia, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia, Stockholm University and Max Planck-Jena). Scientific networking will be also facilitated through COST actions SENSECO and HARMONIOUS.


Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent.


We are looking for a candidate who has: 

  • Master's degree and PhD in Remote Sensing, Earth Sciences or Environmental Engineering from a Danish institution or equivalent.
  • Proven experience working with hyperspectral remote sensing data and radiative transfer models in vegetation.
  • Proven experience in field campaigns using Unmanned Aerial Systems and the necessary workflows for image processing.
  • Ability of handling and processing large amounts of data
  • Mathematical modelling skills and experience in PYHTON,  MATLAB, IDL or other programming languages and GIS software (QGIS, ENVI, Arcmap)
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Flexibility and self-motivation, interest in collaboration and personal responsibility for your work.
  • Proven experience publishing in top-level journals in the field as first author.
  • Knowledge of thermal remote sensing, fluorescence and crop growth or land surface models are advantageous.
  • Willingness to travel and work in an international environment.

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.

Salary and terms of employment
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.

 You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The period of employment for this post is 1 year. The candidate should be able to start June 30th, 2019. The location is DTU Lyngby Campus.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Section, Professor Kim Pilegaard, or Associate Professor Monica Garcia,

You can read more about DTU Environment at

Please submit your online application no later than 20 May 2019 (22:00 local time).  

To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • Application (cover letter including your research vision for the post)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.