(Senior) space weather specialist

(Senior) space weather specialist

Published Deadline Location
9 Aug 26 Aug Bilthoven

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Job description

(Senior) space weather specialist

Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement/Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

As a new task KNMI will become the responsible organization for monitoring space weather and providing alerts to vital sectors in the Netherlands (e.g. electricity, gas, water, telecom, chemical, nuclear, aviation, main ports, financial services). KNMI is collaborating with the Ministry of Defense in developing two front offices: a civilian front office in the weather room at KNMI and a military front office at the JMG in Woensdrecht. The civilian part of the back office, where you will be located, is positioned in the Weather and Climate Services department at KNMI. Space weather is a relatively new field in the department. The back office is responsible for all non-operational activities for space weather like national and international collaborations, product development, knowledge management, end user contacts, etc.

Your tasks in the space weather back office at KNMI

  • You support the space weather operators in the front office with the production of the weekly outlook and during periods of enhanced solar activity.
  • You liaise with relevant experts of Dutch vital sectors and civil protection agencies to understand space weather and help them with adaption and mitigation measures.
  • You improve the existing forecast products, space weather infrastructure and instrumentation.
  • You support Dutch national policy development in the field of space weather.
  • You actively collaborate with the space weather services of the Joint Meteorology Group  of the Royal Netherlands Air Force in Woensdrecht.
  • You participate in the ESA Space Situational Awareness (SSA/SWE) programme.
  • You participate in the relevant expert team of the WMO (WMO IPT SWeISS).
  • You set up collaborations with other services like MOSWOC (Exeter), SIDC (Brussels), FMI, ESA Space Pole, SWPC (Boulder) and other relevant parties in the Netherlands and internationally.
  • You provide input for the H2020/KP9 work programs subscribe to the calls.
  • Together with ASTRON you support Dutch stakeholders in the Dutch space weather interest group SWENED.
  • You develop educational and training material in collaboration with STCE (Brussels) and are able to present space weather courses to operators and users.
  • You develop the space weather service in terms of quality and capacity.
  • You play an active role in the activities around the yearly European Space Weather Week.




  • You have a Ph.D. in physics or a related (relevant) field.
  • You have proven management and communication skills.
  • You have good knowledge (preferably shown by a publication record) of (solar) magnetohydrodynamics, plasma physics and ionospheric physics.
  • You are able to translate space weather effects into physical impact on infrastructures.
  • You have preferably a few years working experience in a national space weather center.
  • You have a good knowledge about the observations and models relevant for space weather forecasts.
  • You are preferably experienced in business continuity procedures and risk management.
  • You are fluent in English and Dutch (or willing to learn Dutch).
  • You have excellent writing skills in English and Dutch (or willing to learn Dutch).
  • You have preferably experience in verification of space weather products.


  • Good sense for policy aspects
  • Planning and organizing skills
  • Results-oriented approach
  • Organizational situational awareness
  • Networking and management skills
  • Collaborative and creative attitude
  • Communication and persuasion skills

Conditions of employment

  • Salary scale: 12
  • Maand­salarisMin €3.667 – Max. €5.450 (bruto)
  • Min. hours per week: 36
  • Max. per week: 36

Naast het salaris en vakantiegeld kun je rekenen op een eindejaarsuitkering, de zogenaamde 13e maand. De Rijksoverheid hecht sterk aan persoonlijke groei en loopbaanontwikkeling en biedt daarvoor tal van mogelijkheden. Tot de secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden behoren onder meer maximaal 55% betaald ouderschapsverlof (onder voorwaarden), studiefaciliteiten, een extra verlofregeling voor ouderen en een vergoeding woon-werkverkeer. Bovendien heb je een aantal individuele keuzemogelijkheden bij het samenstellen van je arbeidsvoorwaardenpakket.


Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement/Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement is committed to improving quality of life, access and mobility in a clean, safe and sustainable environment. The Ministry strives to create an efficient network of roads, railways, waterways and airways, effective water management to protect against flooding, and improved air and water quality.

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is the independent Dutch authority on weather, climate and seismology and contributes to reducing the impact of related calamities to society. For this purpose KNMI develops high-quality knowledge combined with state-of-the-art observations. Besides creating scientific output, products and services are developed with the aim to inform society in an efficient and transparent way.


Weather and Climate Services

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is responsible for monitoring space weather conditions and providing alerts for the vital sectors in the Netherlands. Another task is to broaden the knowledge base for space weather in the Netherlands by stimulating space weather related activities and building knowledge networks. For these new activities, the Weather and Climate Services department at KNMI is now looking for a (senior) space weather specialist.


  • Research, Development, Innovation
  • Natural Sciences; Engineering
  • max. 36 hours per week, temporary
  • €3667—€5450 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT KNMI 2018-09



Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, 3721 MA, Bilthoven

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