PhD Project in Ocean Photonics

mandag 18 maj 20

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Frist 1. august 2020
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DTU Fotonik works with all areas of photonic engineering and the Department is now seeking to employ a PhD student to do research within Ocean Photonics. Ocean Photonics is a new initiative with Bergen University focusing on optical sensing in aquatic environments. The work will be carried out within the Light Sources and Industrial Sensor research section at DTU Fotonik and with the Institute of Physics and Technology at University of Bergen as partner.

Responsibilities and tasks
The main goal of the PhD project is to build up a new Ocean Photonics Climate Drone Laboratory. The drone will be equipped sensors using new diode lasers and LED technology in combination with fluorescent spectroscopy, aquatic LIDAR technology, and ultraviolet radiation. The drone will constitute a unique tool for the investigation of zooplankton, algae and fish, providing new knowledge of how the oceans are affected by climate changes.

Phytoplankton in the ocean is important for regulating our climate on our planet because phytoplankton removes huge amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Furthermore, the photosynthesis in phytoplankton produces roughly half of the oxygen in our planet. Therefore, changes in the oceans can have profound consequences for our climate.

The present PhD project also focuses on how specific UV wavelengths can cause damage in water organisms and on how other UV wavelengths are beneficial, since they clean the water and produce Vitamin D. Similarly, zooplanton is important for a number of reasons such as fish farming. Salmon lice, as one important example, pose a negative economic and environmental impact on salmon farms. Infected fish experience decreased growth and feeding, and increased mortality constituting an annual loss of 300 M$ for the industry.

The project will include the development of optical sensor technology such as optical LIDARs and take advantage of the latest LED and diode laser technologies to carry out research addressing the following subjects:

  • Characterization of (zoo)plankton using aquatic LIDAR technology
  • The impact of light on the growth on algae
  • Vitamin D in salmon induced by light
  • Inactivation of bacteria in water using LED light
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree/Physics (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree/Physics.

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 Paul Michael Petersen and Christian Pedersen. 

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.

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career paths at DTU here

Further information
For further information, please contact Professor Christian Pedersen, or Professor Paul Michael Petersen,

You can read more about DTU Fotonik on 

Please submit your online application no later than 1 August 2020 (23:59 local 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 in 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)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their MSc degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

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

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

DTU Fotonik has 210 employees with competences in optics and is one of the largest centers in the world based solely on research in photonics. Research is performed within optical sensors, lasers, LEDs, photovoltaics, ultra-high speed optical transmission systems, bio-photonics, nano-optics and quantum photonics.

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 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.