PhD Position (m/f/d) In the area of Air-Sea Interaction

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG)
Germany (DE)
collective wage agreement TV-AVH
Dec 01, 2020
Dec 31, 2020
2020/KO 9
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), in Geesthacht, near Hamburg, and in Teltow, near Berlin, conducts materials and coastal research. For further information please refer to:

HZG is one of the 19 national institutions of the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres e.V. (HGF). Around 1,000 employees carry out basic research and development work in close cooperation with national and international research institutions, research-oriented clinics and economic and public institutions.

At the Institute of Coastal Research about 150 scientists research processes on the coast and interactions between the land, the sea and humans. The objective of the three sub-institutes "Biogeochemistry in Coastal Seas", "Operational Systems" and "System Analysis and Modelling" is to create the scientific basis for sustainable development and future-oriented management of the coasts.

PhD Position (m/f/d) In the area of Air-Sea Interaction

Reference code: 50044949_2 – 2020/KO 9
Commencement date: as soon as possible
The place of employment is Geesthacht

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD. candidate to investigate wind-wave energy flux mechanisms at the air-sea interface. Understanding energy and scalar fluxes across the air-sea interface is crucial for a number of environmental challenges, including weather, climate and sea state forecasting. The Air-Sea Interaction group at the Institute of Coastal Research conducts lab (wind-wave tank) and field (offshore platforms) based research, by developing and deploying unique, novel high-resolution imaging systems to investigate submillimeter-scale turbulent dynamics above and below ocean surface waves.

The project is subject to the approval of funding by the German Research Foundation, and is part of the second phase of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) "Energy transfers in atmosphere and ocean" conducted together with partners from the Universities of Hamburg and Bremen, as well as others. The candidate will use novel particle image velocimetry measurements within the first millimeters to centimeters above and below surface waves to quantify, understand and parametrize wind-wave energy fluxes. The overall goal of the research project is to develop process understanding and parameterisations that lead to improved, energetically consistent, climate models. Close collaboration with the other research areas of the CRC is expected, and more information can be found at

We invite applications for a PhD position (m/f/d) in the area of air-sea interaction at the Institute of Coastal Research with preferred starting date as soon as possible. The position is limited to three years with the degree being awarded through Hamburg University of Technology.

Your tasks

  • designing, planning and performing laboratory (wind-wave tank) and field (offshore platform in coastal waters) experiments, using state-of-the-art imaging techniques (e.g., Particle Image Velocimetry)
  • developing computational codes to process and understand large experimental datasets (e.g., image processing)
  • analyzing experimental results; developing conceptual models and parameterizations to better predict air-sea fluxes of momentum and energy
  • scientific publication and presentation
  • working as an integral part of a motivated multidisciplinary team within the institute and with external academic partners

Your profile

Essential qualifications:

  • a MSc degree in oceanography, fluid mechanics, geosciences, physics, mechanical engineering or related disciplines
  • programming skills in one or more languages (Matlab, Python, R, C, Fortran)
  • excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken)
  • high degree of motivation, creativity, and flexibility
  • ability and willingness to participate in sea-going research

Desirable qualifications:

  • experience in processing and interpretation of observational data
  • practical fluid mechanics experience in the lab or in the field
  • international research experience
  • academic publication record
  • willingness to learn German

We offer

  • multinational work environment with over 1,000 colleagues from more than 50 nations
  • extensive options of vocational training (i.a. expert seminars, language courses or leadership seminars)
  • flexible working hours and various models to ensure the compatibility of family and career
  • excellent infrastructure, including a scientific in-house library as well as modern work spaces
  • remuneration according to the standards of the collective wage agreement TV-AVH including further social benefits

The promotion of equal rights is a matter of course for us. Severely disabled persons and those equaling severely disabled persons who are equally suitable for the position will be considered preferentially within the framework of legal requirements.

For further questions please contact Dr. Marc Buckley (

Interested? Then we are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive application documents (cover letter, CV, transcripts, certificates etc.) indicating the reference number 2020/KO 9.

Please start the online application process for this offered position via category Career & Campus.

Application deadline: January 3rd, 2021
Contact: Mr. Tristan Tietz