Deadline: 2015-01-31
Level Of Study: PhD

2 PhD positions in Glacier Modelling and Remote Sensing

The research of the unit ‘3G’ of the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich focuses on cold mountain ranges and processes that result from the interaction between climate and the surface. The related research topics are on glaciers, permafrost, and natural hazards.

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As part of the research project ‘Understanding long-term outlet glacier calving dynamics with a combined high-resolution field, remote sensing and modelling approach, the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) seeks 2 PhD candidates in the areas of Glaciology and Remote Sensing.
The project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and will investigate a rapidly changing tidewater glacier in West Greenland in order to understand and model the process of glacier calving. Investigations will be performed in two in situ field campaigns and by using remotely sensed data from radar satellite missions and ground-based interferometric radar.
Numerical analysis of ice flow, fracture and damage processes will be used to investigate the mechanism of calving, and understand the short-term dynamics of the glacier, and its century-long documented history.


60 % each


Candidates should have a background (Masters degree) in Natural Sciences or related discipline (Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Earth Science, Physical/Computational, Geography), as well as experience in programming and a good standard in written and spoken English.

PhD 1 (Glacier Modelling): The candidate is expected to have a background in computer modelling and continuum mechanics. Experience with field methods and background in glaciology is a plus.

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PhD 2 (Remote Sensing) The candidate is expected to have experience with quantitative radar satellite time series observations of the cryosphere. Experiences with offset tracking, correlation analysis, and programming, e.g. in Matlab or C/C++ are assets. Experience with field-based observations and glacier related applications are a plus.




experience in programming, special requirements depending on profile PhD 1 or PhD 2

Spezielle Anforderungen

Applications should include a cover letter, your Curriculum Vitae and transcripts, your contact details, as well as a reference letter.

Wir bieten

Both PhD positions are fully funded for 3 years with a planned starting date in March 2015. They will be part of the Graduate School of the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich and attached to the research groups of the Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics Group (3G) and the Remote Sensing Laboratories (RSL).


planned starting date in March 2015


Applications should be sent by email to Martin Luthi,



Bitte senden Sie Ihre Bewerbung mit den ublichen Unterlagen an oben genannte E-Mail-Adresse.

Dr. Martin Luthi
Universitat Zurich
Department of Geography, 3G
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

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