PhD scholarship in Geodetic Observations of Glaciers and Ice Sheets

DTU Space
torsdag 12 okt 17

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Frist 1. november 2017
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The division of Geodesy at DTU Space advertises a fully funded 3-year PhD position (expected to start on 1 January 2018 or as soon as possible) to study Greenland ice sheet mass change from satellite gravity, satellite altimetry and GPS. 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- & Astrophysics.

Over the past decade, DTU Space has established itself as a world leader in research and applications involving e.g. the ice sheet and glacier mass changes, climate change, sea level rise. One of our core activities is to model and observe. One of our core activities is to model and observe ice sheet mass changes. The PhD will focus on ice mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet and surface deformation from GPS, which is central to DTU Space’s strategic effort in the area of geodesy.

The PhD will be attached to the division of geodesy, which is one of the seven divisions comprising DTU Space.

Responsibilities and tasks
The candidate is expected to perform original research that aims at improving our understanding of outlet glacier dynamics and ice sheet mass changes. The candidate is expected to 

  • Analyze satellite and airborne radar/laser altimetry data to obtain present-day ice mass changes.
  • Analyze GPS data to observe 3D surface displacements of the solid earth due to present-day ice loss.
  • Analyze satellite gravity data (GRACE).
  • Help modeling elastic displacements due to present-day ice loss.
  • Combine the various datasets to improve mass loss estimates in time and space.

Previous experience in handling airborne/satellite radar/laser altimetry data and their derivatives will be considered an advantage.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by associate Professor Shfaqat Abbas Khan 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 an 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 with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Workplace is DTU Campus in Lyngby, north of Copenhagen.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Shfaqat Abbas Khan, tel.: +45 4525 9775.

You can read more about DTU Space on

Please submit your online application no later than 1 November 2017 (Local time). Apply online at  

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 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.

The Division of Geodesy focus on maintenance and development of geodetic infrastructure and development of new techniques for surveying and mapping, such as GPS and Galileo, refinement and improvement of space-based Earth Observation techniques.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 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.