PhD Student in Planetary Science

 Luleå University of Technology experiences rapid growth with world-leading expertise within several research domains. We shape the future through innovative education and groundbreaking research results and drawing on our location in the Arctic region, we create global societal benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are carried out in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has an annual turnover of SEK 1.9 billion. Today, we have 1,815 staff and 19,155 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.

At Kiruna Space Campus, Luleå University of Technology provides space-related research and education, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) focuses on space plasma research and instrument development, and EISCAT Scientific Association carries out the radar observations of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.

The Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Technology at Luleå University of Technology is seeking a doctoral researcher to contribute to our growing activities in Planetary and Space Science at our Division of Space Technology on Kiruna Campus. The division offers a number of Master’s Degree programs in Space Science and Technology and conducts research in the areas of planetary and atmospheric science as well as space systems and technology. Researchers in Planetary Science have been and are involved in several international space missions. The research infrastructure includes state-of-the-art experimental facilities for experimental planetary science.

Subject description
In atmospheric sciences we investigate the interactions of Earth and other planetary bodies with their environment. Our research topics include mass and energy fluxes within planets and their atmospheres, as well as snow, ice and dirt in terrestrial and space environments.

We develop instruments for use on the ground, on balloons and on spacecraft and analyse data from Earth-observing satellites and deep space probes.

Project description
You will be welcomed into an expanding group of researchers in Luleå University of Technology’s Division of Space Technology, whose focus is on investigating physical properties and processes of solar system bodies using the laboratory experiments and spacecraft measurements.

The SNSA-funded PhD position derives from the involvement of Luleå University of Technology researchers in an upcoming Japanese/European space mission to study the Martian moon Phobos. The project aims to investigate the photometric properties of the surface of Phobos in support of this mission. Comparing remote sensing observations of Phobos with the results of photometric experiments involving regolith analogues will provide insight into the physical properties of the regolith. The knowledge of such properties is vital for the mission success of the Japanese MMX orbiter and its European rover at Phobos.

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 project. Extended working visits to science institutes in Germany and Switzerland are foreseen.

In collaboration with your supervisors, you will engage in the following research activities:
- analysis of remote sensing data and comparison with experimental results;
- performing laboratory experiments involving light scattering;
- analytical modelling of experimental results;
- dissemination of results at international conferences and in scientific publications.

In addition to learning and improving your skills while performing these tasks, you will conduct literature reviews and attend courses as part of your graduate education. Optionally, you may engage in teaching and other departmental duties, limited to a maximum of one year of the total period not exceeding five years.

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate who can work independently. You must have a Master’s degree or equivalent in (geo)physics, astronomy, space science, or a related subject. Good analytical skills with an affinity for experiments are desired. Ideally, you are an effective communicator and fluent in English. We are aiming for a healthy gender balance in our subject and particularly welcome female applicants.

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

Further information
Employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years, teaching and other department duties may be added with max 20%. Placement: Kiruna.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Stefan Schröder, +46 980 67585, or Head of division Dr. Victoria Barabash, +46 980 67532,

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

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

We prefer electronic applications which can be created by clicking on the apply button below. The application must be in English or Swedish and should include a CV, personal letter, verified copies of relevant diplomas from high school and universities, and contact information of two potential referees. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish. Mark your application with the reference number below.

Closing date for applications: 31 March 2023
Reference number: 592-2023


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