PhD Position Using Machine Learning Techniques to Identify Patterns of Sea Level Change in Satellite Altimetry Data

PhD Position Using Machine Learning Techniques to Identify Patterns of Sea Level Change in Satellite Altimetry Data

Published Deadline Location
16 May 27 Jun Delft

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 27 Jun 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Do you want to develop machine learning techniques to analyse large earth observation datasets and contribute to a better understanding of sea level change?

Job description

Within this project, you will develop an innovative combination of space-geodetic observations, primarily from satellite radar altimetry missions over the oceans, by making use of different machine learning approaches (including deep learning). The main goal is to identify characteristic sea level patterns that will allow to generate a consistent reconstruction of mass changes in ice sheets, glaciers and land hydrology over the last three decades. Those new observational constraints will allow to improve existing models of continental freshwater reservoirs and lead to more accurate predictions of their future changes and on their effect on sea level.

You will work at the department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, which hosts several experts in the field of satellite geodesy, big data analysis and earth system modelling. You will be directly supervised by dr. Riccardo Riva, who has more than fifteen years of experience in using geophysical models and satellite observations to study processes related to sea level change.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with: 

  • A MSc degree in (Applied) Physics, Mathematics, Geophysics or Geodesy.
  • Affinity with coding numerical methods, e.g., in Python, C++, Julia, or Fortran.
  • A strong scientific drive.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and diverse team.

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, 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 & 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.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03948


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer


Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you