PhD position in adaptive/collaborative weather radar networking

PhD position in adaptive/collaborative weather radar networking

Published Deadline Location
7 Feb 31 Mar Delft

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PhD position in adaptive and collaborative weather radar networking.

Job description

We seek a motivated PhD student to work on a 4-year NWO funded project called SMARTER (Strategic Monitoring of Atmospheric Threats using Enhanced Radar). The goal of this project is to develop a new adaptive and collaborative weather radar network for the Netherlands in which individual radars can adapt their behavior and react (in real-time) to what the other sensors in the network are seeing or doing. This is an open challenge in the current literature, that can be applied also to other scenarios of radar-based surveillance of manmade objects and not only to atmospheric phenomena. Compared to traditional radar networks in which each radar follows a fixed, predefined measurement plan, adaptive networks offer substantial advantages for high-resolution monitoring of rapidly developing localized phenomena, such as heavy rain and hail.

At TU Delft we have unique research facilities with many different types of radars including polarimetric S-band, X-band and C-band precipitation radars, vertically profiling micro-rain radars and cloud radars. But what is missing at the moment is the 'brain' that can control them, and adapt their operations and processing as a function of scientific needs and user requirements. The development of the tools and algorithms that can turn several independent radars into a truly cooperating, cognitive radar network is the focus of this PhD.

During this PhD, you will work in the Microwave Sensing Signals and Systems (MS3) research group at the Department of Microelectronics of TU Delft. This group has extensive research facilities and excellent track record on the full pipeline of microwave and radar sensing, from hardware development to signal processing and automatic object classification.

Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • Develop codes, databases and strategies to adapt the configuration of radars in a network and decide the best scanning strategies as a function of the current weather situation, taking into account scientific needs and user priorities.
  • Formulate mathematical models for key radar parameters, feature extraction, and target identification/tracking for atmospheric threats in heterogeneous radar networks.
  • Experimentally validate methods using numerical simulations and in-situ observations.
  • Collaborate with another PhD student within the same project in the Department of Geoscience & Remote Sensing (CITG Faculty) to exchange knowledge, perform joint experiments and make sure all project objectives are met.
  • Participate in knowledge utilization activities and disseminationof research findings.

Relevance: the monitoring and prediction of heavy rain and hail has great scientific value and clear societal benefits. In the Netherlands alone, heavy rain and hail cause millions of damages every year. Because of global warming, the frequency and intensity of such events will gradually increase over the next decades. SMARTER will help increase our scientific knowledge of these destructive phenomena, which will lead to better damage mitigation and climate adaptation strategies.

Candidates are also encouraged to look at another related PhD vacancy within the same project, in the group of Dr. Marc Schleiss at the Dept. of Geoscience & Remote Sensing (CITG Faculty):

The project is expected to start on September 1st 2023.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


To be considered for this position you should have:

  • A Master's degree in electrical/electronic engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics or other related fields.
  • Knowledge and interest in radar signal processing, preferably but not necessarily on weather radar.
  • Excellent knowledge in machine learning, preferably reinforcement learning techniques for management/adaptation of systems.
  • Programming experience in MATLAB/Python or C/C++, preferably in relation to remote sensing applications (weather radar systems and/or processing of remote sensing data).
  • A curiosity-driven mindset, the ability to learn new things and a passion for (doing) research.
  • An open-minded personality for cooperation with colleagues and co-supervision of students. Willingness to help out with education related tasks (e.g., teaching assistance).
  • Good English language and communication skills (written and oral) in order to closely cooperate with colleagues and students as well as write project documents.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three scientific disciplines. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we all use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make completely sustainable and future-proof. At the same time, we are developing the chips and sensors of the future, whilst also setting the foundations for the software technologies to run on this new generation of equipment – which of course includes AI. Meanwhile we are pushing the limits of applied mathematics, for example mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. In other words: there is plenty of room at the faculty for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1000 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03459


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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