Postdoc Hydrological Data Assimilation

Postdoc Hydrological Data Assimilation

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 30 May Delft

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Challenge: increased droughts in the Rhone valley.
Change: satellite snow and glacier data assimilation in a digital twin of the Rhone basin.
Impact: a tool for improved forecasts and scenario planning.

Job description

In our changing climate, the increased frequency and intensity of droughts have an important impact on the lives of those living in the Rhone valley. To anticipate droughts in this region, digital twins, virtual representations of processes on earth, are important tools in scenario planning. In this project, we will assimilate satellite data of snow cover and glacier extent to improve estimates of meltwater river runoff in hydrological models of the Rhone. We will make use of the “eWatercycle platform for FAIR and Open Science” to couple hydrological models with glacier models and assimilate the satellite data.

You will work with a multi-disciplinary team to develop a data-assimilation module that combines satellite imagery with a snow model in the hydrological modelling framework of eWatercycle. Through data-assimilation experiments, you will investigate the role of snow cover and glacier melt on river runoff, which is important to understand the mechanisms for the occurrence of droughts. Ultimately, this should improve short-term forecasts of river runoff and deliver a tool for scenario planning.

The position will be hosted in the department of Geoscience and Engineering, but since the research will be truly multidisciplinary, you will be collaborating very closely with experts in the departments of Water Management as well as Remote Sensing and Geosciences. The strong cross-departmental collaboration within the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences creates a very stimulating research environment. Experts in drought and snow cover at CESBIO, Toulouse, Free University, Amsterdam, and ETH, Zürich will be advising you in their specific disciplines.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


As a candidate for this position, you have completed a PhD in the field of one or multiple disciplines of geophysics in the broadest sense, e.g., hydrology, oceanography, and solid earth. It is an advantage if you have experience in probabilistic inversion, numerical modelling, or (preferably) data assimilation. You have experience working in a multi-disciplinary team, and you thrive working with people in different organisations with different skillsets, with the goal to better understand and mitigate climate change. You are a curiosity-inspired and creative researcher with an interest in digital twins of the earth, and a well-organised professional who is able to plan, execute, deliver and communicate research.

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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 Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD03840


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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