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Postdoc position on Optimizing Earth Observation data for ice sheet modelling

DTU Space
Copenhagen, Hovedstaden (DK)
Closing date
Aug 1, 2021

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Job Details

If you want to develop your career as a scientist and you are looking for a challenging and exciting opportunity to fulfill your dreams and ambitions within the assessment of sea level rise and climate change, it is right here in front of you. At DTU Space we seek applicants for a Postdoc position starting in September 2021 (or as soon as possible hereafter) on the topic of “Optimizing Earth Observation data for ice sheet modelling”.

You will directly contribute to the ongoing R&D within the Horizon Europe 2020 project PROTECT ( The goal of PROTECT is to assess and project changes in land ice, with fully quantified uncertainties, to produce robust global, regional, and local projections of sea level rise on a different timescale. More specifically you will contribute to the processing of satellite data within the project to ensure a tailored data for ice-sheet modelers in the quest to constrain future sea-level rise. Here, the main research challenge is the development of high-resolution time series of Greenland ice sheet mass changes from a combination of satellite data (e.g. altimetry, gravimetry, ice velocity), and airborne lidar and radar data. The applied methodology will be based on your expertise and earlier results, but we already now see great prospects in seeking novel applications of machine learning in the combinations of the satellite data sources for mass balance. 

The position will be anchored in the cryosphere research group, within the Geodesy and Earth observation division at DTU Space. We have a strong focus on cryosphere changes, both from Earth Observations (radar satellite altimetry, lidar, gravity), airborne and in-situ campaigns. We are currently active in several national and international projects where we work on developing, implementing, and validating methods for using satellite data to map the recent and current changes of the Earth's cryosphere. Here, we can in addition to PROTECT mention the national Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (, the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), and the ESA Greenland Ice Sheet Climate Change Initiative ( in which we contribute with expertise in remote sensing products of e.g. elevation changes, mass changes, digital elevation models and ice sheet thickness. Furthermore, we have extensive experience in carrying out field campaigns in the polar regions.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall aim will be to strengthen the department’s competences within the application of advanced methods for combining multiple satellite data sources for ice sheet mass balance. You will work in close collaboration with colleagues, and with academic partners in both Denmark as well as abroad. Your primary tasks will involve writing, testing, and optimizing software and applying this to satellite and ground-based field measurements of the Greenland ice sheet.

  • You will optimize and develop methods to take full advantage of combining different satellite data sets.
  • You will publishthe new findings in the international peer reviewed literature.
  • You will present your research at international conferences.
  • You will communicate effectively with colleagues and be able to work as part of a team to achieve ambitious goals.

For this position, experience with Earth Observation data and machine learning, is essential. We expect the candidate to have:

  • Experience in working with large satellite data sets and development of algorithms.
  • At least basic knowledge of the role/response of the cryosphere in the climate system
  • Have good expertise in programming, e.g. in Python, R, or other high-level programming languages.
  • Demonstrated the ability to publish in the international peer-reviewed research literature

Furthermore, we are looking for someone who has

  • Presentation skills appropriate for communicating research findings at international conferences.
  • Passion to work on complex, challenging topics
  • Ability to thrive on collaboration and teamwork

Flexibility and self-motivation are desired skills at DTU, as well as a natural interest in collaboration and personal responsibility.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 1 year, but the outcome of pending funding applications might allow for extension.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
May be obtained from senior scientist Sebastian B. Simonsen ( or cryosphere-research group lead, senior scientist Louise Sandberg Sørensen (

You can read more about DTU Space on and at

Workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus, approximately 15 km north of central Copenhagen.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 August 2021 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Apply online

DTU Space has about 180 employees, an annual turn-over of about 140 MDKK and it is located at the Lyngby Campus of the Technical University of Denmark together with 19 other institutes within the technical sciences. As the National Space Institute, DTU Space is the leading institution of public space activities in Denmark. The mission of the Institute is to conduct research, development, public sector consultancy, education, and innovation at the highest international level within the following areas: Space Technology & Instrumentation, Earth Observation & Geoscience and Space- & Astrophysics.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.


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