PhD scholarship in Future Sea level change and contribution from Arctic Ocean

Wednesday 12 Jan 22

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Apply no later than 31 January 2022
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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 studies indicate that climate change affects will be more profound in the Polar Ocean than elsewhere with possible related effects in Europe.  

Responsibilities and qualifications
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 dataset 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 sister ph.d. project). In particular study changes in direction and strength of the currents over the last three decades and exploit their possible impacts in terms of localized sea level change along the costs on Europe.

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

Continuation of the altimetry based sea level record is of fundamental to improve the prediction of future sea level at the coast. In 2023 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.

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 to achieve ambitious goals
  • Teach and co-supervise BSc and MSc student projects
  • Stay up to 1 year at TU Munich

We expect the candidate to 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
  • Experience in working with large satellite data sets and development of algorithms
  • Experience with satellite altimetry and retracking
  • Good expertise in programming, e.g. in Python or Matlab and/or other high-level programming languages.

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.

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 DTU's rules for the PhD education.

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.

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
May be obtained from professor Ole Baltazar Andersen, phone : +45 4525 9754,

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 31 January 2022 (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 including official description of grading scale

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.