PhD Position Adaptive/Collaborative Weather Radar Networking

PhD Position Adaptive/Collaborative Weather Radar Networking

Published Deadline Location
22 May 2 Jul Delft

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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 Department of Geoscience & Remote Sensing (GRS) at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geoscience of TU Delft. The atmospheric observation and modeling groups at GRS perform world-leading research in the fieldof atmospheric dynamics, boundary layer physics, cloud microphysics and precipitation science. We have a strong expertise in collecting, processing and analyzing remote sensing observations for weather and climate related applications and operate a large state-of-the-art network of in-situ and remote sensing sensors known as the “Ruisdael observatory”.

Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • Develop data quality control algorithms that can automatically assess the quality and reliability of the acquired data and perform crucial pre-processing steps.
  • Implement efficient algorithms for processing and combining the heterogeneous, multifaceted streams of data generated by an adaptive radar network.
  • Create novel retrieval algorithms for extracting information about the structure and dynamics of heavy rain and hail events and synthesizing data for impact assessment.
  • Participate in knowledge utilization activities and disseminationof research findings.
  • Collaborate with another PhD student within the same project in the Department of Microelectronics (EEMCS Faculty) to exchange knowledge, perform joint experiments and make sure all project objectives are met.

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. Becauseof 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. Francesco Fioranelli at the Dept. of Microelectronics (EEMCS 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 Geosciences, atmospheric sciences, water management, physics, mathematics or other related fields.
  • Knowledge and interest in weather, preferably but not necessarily on clouds and precipitation.
  • Excellent knowledge in applied statistics, preferably geospatial data analysis, stochastic modelling, data merging/interpolation and machine learning.
  • 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 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
  • TUD03470


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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