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  3. PhD Satellite gravity based estimates of mantle viscosity

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PhD Satellite gravity based estimates of mantle viscosity

Dynamical models of the Earth are required to understand processes that shape the Earth’s surface, such as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). These models …

10 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Dynamical models of the Earth are required to understand processes that shape the Earth’s surface, such as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). These models rely on geophysical observations as input such as seismic and gravity data. However, seismic data can discern structures in the Earth’s mantle but can not distinguish thermal from compositional anomalies. Satellite gravity data from satellite missions such as GRACE and GOCE observe density anomalies but can not uniquely constrain their location. Currently, the link from geophysical observations to input for the dynamic models is often simplistic, without consideration of information on petrology. This project aims to combine satellite gravity and seismic data with a state-of-the-art petrological model to produce maps of deformation parameters (viscosity) that will be tested in a dynamic model of GIA. The focus on the project is on geodynamic and thermodynamic modelling


Applicants are expected to have an MSc degree (or the equivalent) in one of the following areas: physics, astrophysics, applied mathematics, Earth science, planetary science, geodesy, aerospace engineering, or a closely related area. A strong background in numerical modelling is desirable. Applicants must be proficient in spoken and written English.


The successful candidate will be granted a temporary employment contract with the university for a period of 4 years (48 months), with an evaluation at the end of the first year. Within the contract period, the candidate is expected to produce a dissertation (PhD thesis) of sufficient quality for him/her to be awarded a PhD. Benefits and other employment conditions are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

The Department of Space Engineering provides education and conducts research to advance the frontiers of space systems and missions, spaceflight, and planetary science for the benefit of society. The department consists of two research groups: Astrodynamics and Space Missions, and Space Systems Engineering. It runs an integrated research programme comprising miniaturisation, distributed space systems, mission analysis and orbits, space propulsion, ascent and re-entry, and planetary exploration. The department operates a cleanroom facility for the design, integration, and verification of assemblies up to entire satellites. It is an active member of the TU Delft Space Institute.

The Astrodynamics and Space Missions (A&S) section is dedicated to the modelling and analysis of satellite orbits, planetary missions and their many planetary applications. For more information, please visit www.as.lr.tudelft.nl.


Delft University of Technology (the TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. The TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At the TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. The TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.

Faculty Aerospace Engineering

The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.
The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.