PhD Position: Aerosol-Cloud Brightening from Observations to Idealized Modeling

PhD Position: Aerosol-Cloud Brightening from Observations to Idealized Modeling

Published Deadline Location
24 Feb 19 Apr Delft

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We invite you to apply for a PhD position on exploring aerosol-cloud interactions through ground-based observations and idealized modelling.

Job description

Stratocumulus cloud cover vast stretches of the subtropical oceans. They cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space. If the reflectivity of all subtropical stratocumulus would be increased by just a few percent, this cooling could offset the greenhouse gas warming of doubling the atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The brightness clouds can be modified by increased amounts of aerosol particles. The deliberate introduction of sea salt aerosol particles into stratocumulus clouds has therefore been suggested as a hypothetical "climate engineering" strategy to temporarily reduce temperature and mitigate some effects of climate change until efficient tools to remove CO2 from the atmosphere become available to reverse anthropogenic emissions. During your PhD research, you will investigate aerosol-cloud interactions in order to evaluate the cloud-microphysical feasibility of climate engineering by marine cloud brightening. You will work with ground-based observations in combination with a 1-dimensional model (cloud parcel model). Within a broad scope, we will guide you in designing specific research projects that take your own ideas and interests into account.

Your PhD project will be supervised by Herman Russchenberg, George Biskos, Isabelle Steinke, Pier Siebesma and Franziska Glassmeier in collaboration with Cambridge University. You will be part of our lively Atmospheric Science research team, which has a strong focus on modeling and observing clouds. In addition to an exciting research project and a friendly and stimulating work environment, we can offer you funds for scientific travel.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a curiosity-driven candidate who enjoys working with observational data as well as theoretical modelling and computational data analysis.

To be considered for this position, you must hold a scientific degree (Master's or equivalent). As a suitable candidate, you may come from a range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, Atmospheric Science and Geoscience, Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Prior experience with atmospheric science and cloud research is not required but you should have a good foundation in physics. We further expect practical programming experience, ideally including data analysis and visualization (e.g., in python). We expect you to work independently as well as in small teams. You should communicate fluently in English (oral and written) and will present your results to the scientific community in the form of peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international scientific meetings.     

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 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
  • Natural sciences
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03544


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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