Postdoc High-fidelity Computations of Aerosol Dynamics in Stratospheric Aircraft Wakes

Postdoc High-fidelity Computations of Aerosol Dynamics in Stratospheric Aircraft Wakes

Published Deadline Location
28 May 25 Jun Delft

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Job description

Global climate models have provided warming predictions for several scenarios, the outcomes of which are primarily determined by assumed rates at which greenhouse gas reduction will be achieved.  If emission rates remain excessive, however, large temperature excursions may occur before suitable strategies for reducing greenhouse gases can be deployed. If such excursions produce unacceptable damage, some form of temporary solar radiation management is likely to be considered. The most popular of the approaches currently being discussed is stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI).

The basis for SAI is the known cooling effect of volcanic eruptions, which inject SO2 (among other aerosols) into the stratosphere. Part of these emissions evolve into H2SO4 particles with a diameter suitable for reflecting sunlight. Several studies have shown that aircraft are capable of delivering SO2 ( or more effectively, H2S04 or engineered aerosols) directly to the stratosphere to efficiently achieve a similar cooling effect.  Global climate models have indicated, however, that such SAI techniques are also likely to produce side effects which depend considerably on the geographic region considered.  

In this postdoc position, you will form part of a consortium of researchers at ETH Zurich, the Paul Scherrer institute, the Physical Meteorological Observatory, the University of West Indies and ITS Indonesia with the goal of accurately quantifying the physics and effects of SAI. Your role will be to combine large-eddy simulations with particle evolution models to initially examine near-wake aerosol dynamics, then to study long-term aerosol wake evolution.  This will provide input to predictions of large-scale aerosol properties which will be employed in global climate simulations. The results of these simulations will be used in case studies quantifying local impacts, with detailed studies to be performed for the West Indies and Indonesia. 

The anticipated outputs of this consortium are crucial for decision makers, who should  have realistic assessments of the risks associated with SAI techniques before considering their incorporation into global warming management strategies.  


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


You should have experience with the numerical simulation turbulent flows, and strong interests in microphysics and atmospheric dynamics. In order to fully take part in the cooperative research of the consortium, you should also have excellent project management and English communication skills. In addition you should have:

  • A PhD in a relevant subject, such as large-eddy simulation, atmospheric physics, or microphysical modelling. 
  • Excellent mathematical and analytical skills.
  • Advanced programming skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 27 months.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, 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 Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 270 PhD candidates and close to 3000 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond. 

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD05387


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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