August 2018
Message 50

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[Met-jobs] PhD positions in integrated remote sensing for Earth observations, UiT, Norway

From Rune Graversen <>
To "" <>
Cc Torbjørn Eltoft <>
Date Thu, 16 Aug 2018 09:09:57 +0000

Dear met-job list:

At Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø (UiT), Norway, we 
have the following two open PhD positions:

Best regards,
Prof. Rune Graversen
Department of Physics and Technology
University of Tromsø


Two PhD Fellowships in Integrated Remote Sensing for Earth Observation
Applications at CIRFA

Application deadline: 10.09.2018
Jobbnorge-ID: 153768

The Department of Physics and Technology announces two vacant PhD Candidate 
positions in the area of Arctic Remote Sensing. The research themes are: 
“Multi-Sensor, Multi-Scale Integrated Remote Sensing for Arctic Sea Ice 
monitoring” and “Remote Sensing of Extreme Ocean Events (Polar Lows)”.

The positions are affiliated to the Department of Physics and Technology, 
Faculty of Science and Technology, and the research will be conducted in the 
Centre for Integrated Remote Sensing and Forecasting for Arctic Operations 
(CIRFA), a Centre for Research-based Innovation hosted by UiT The Arctic 
University of Norway.

The positions are available for commencement from 1st of August 2018 and the 
appointments are for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD 
program is three years. The fourth year is used for teaching or other duties 
for the department. The duties are normally distributed evenly over the four 

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of five research groups: (1) 
Earth Observation, (2) Energy and Climate, (3) Machine Learning, (4) Space 
Physics, and (5) Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The department provides 
education on the Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels, and comprises 21 permanent 
scientific positions and a technical/administrative staff of 12 persons.

The successful candidates will work at CIRFA. CIRFA does research on integrated 
remote sensing for Arctic operations by developing data analysis methods and 
technologies for reliably characterizing and monitoring the physical 
environment of the Arctic. The Centre also explores methods to efficiently 
assimilate the derived information into models to perform improved predictions 
of sea ice state, meteorological and oceanographic conditions. See more at

Further information about both positions, UiT and CIRFA is available by 

Professor Torbjørn Eltoft by email or telephone +47 776 
45184 .

PhD Fellowship 1 - position number 3309
PhD Candidate in “Multi-Sensor, Multi-Scale Integrated Remote Sensing for 
Arctic Sea Ice monitoring”

The research will be conducted at CIRFA, in collaboration with the Ice Service 
at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Further information about the position is available by contacting:

Associate Professor Andrea Marinoni by email,
Professor Wolfgang Dierking by email, or
Associate Professor Anthony Doulgeris by email

The position’s field of research The recent changes to the sea ice cover have 
resulted in increased interests of shipping, fisheries, and petroleum industry 
in the Arctic regions. These activities put forward demands for new advanced 
monitoring and forecasting technologies to improve sea ice characterization and 
to exploit the vast amount of remote sensing data which is available over this 
environmentally vulnerable area. Current and upcoming satellite missions are 
and will be providing large amounts of multi-sensor data over these regions at 
different spatial, spectral, angular and temporal resolutions. Research is 
needed to design and develop advanced strategies to reliably integrate sources 
with different characteristics and resolutions and to reliably transform these 
data streams into information of relevance to the scientific community and 
industrial actors.

Roles and responsibilities of the research fellow

The research fellow will be associated with the CIRFA work package allocated to 
“Sea Ice Remote Sensing” (WP2). The candidate will participate in research on:

SAR and optical data fusion: developing methods for sea ice monitoring 
combining diverse sources, particularly with Sentinel 1 & 2
Multi-scale/multi-resolution data fusion: developing strategies to integrate 
data with very different resolutions
Multi-scale probabilistic fusion: exploring approaches to integrate contextual 
information at different smoothing scales
Multi-temporal data fusion: exploring approaches to combine and utilise all 
available scenes

Specific qualification requirements

This position requires a Master’s degree in physics, mathematics or machine 
learning. We are looking for a candidate with:

A solid background in image processing, statistical signal processing, and 
multivariate analysis
General familiarity with SAR and optical remote sensing
Principles of information theory and machine learning can be considered assets
Previous experience with sea ice would also be advantageous

PhD Fellowship 2 - position number 3319
PhD Candidate in “Remote Sensing of Extreme Ocean Events (Polar Lows)”

The research will be conducted at CIRFA, in tight collaboration with the WP1 
and WP5 teams, which are doing research in “Ocean Remote Sensing” and “Drift 
Modeling and Prediction”.

Further information about the position is available by contacting:

Professor Harald Johnsen by email, or
Professor Rune Graversen by email

The position’s field of research

Polar lows are mesoscale to sub-mesoscale cyclones that occurs at cold air 
outbreaks over relatively warmer sea water. Polar lows provide a characteristic 
spatial pattern and life cycle, and are accompanied with severe weather, with 
heavy local snow precipitation and strong surface winds. Polar orbiting weather 
satellites are regularly used to detect and monitor polar lows by imaging the 
spatial structure of the associated cloud patterns. However, very little 
research has been done on utilizing the polar orbiting radar satellites to 
monitor and characterize polar lows. The radar satellites have the capabilities 
to measure the strength and spatial structure of ocean surface wind fields with 
spatial resolution less than 1x1 km2. Research is needed to develop 
methodologies to detect, track and characterize polar low from polar orbiting 
radar satellites. Additionally, the combination of data from optical and radar 
satellites is expected to provide a better characterization of polar lows, 
enabling improved model prediction.

Roles and responsibilities of the research fellow

The Research Fellow will be associated with the CIRFA work packages allocated 
to “Ocean Remote Sensing” (WP1) and “Numerical Modelling” (WP5). The candidate 
will collaborate closely with researchers at the Norwegian Meteorological 
Institute and contribute to the development of the Arctic weather prediction 
model. The research will include:

Polar Low Detection and Location: Developing automatic segmentation techniques 
for detection and characterization of polar lows in synthetic aperture radar 
(SAR) and optical satellite scenes.
Tracking: Developing an algorithm for tracking the eye of a polar low to follow 
its life cycle.
Polar Low Ocean Wind Vector retrieval: Establishing a geophysical model 
function for both co- and cross-polarization SAR data, and developing a wind 
retrieval algorithm for measuring polar low wind field from radar images in 
different polarizations.
Polar Low Ocean Wind Field Structure: Characterizing the structure of the polar 
low wind field during the life cycle by exploiting archived radar and optical 
satellite data, guided by reanalysed model data from the Arctic region.

Specific qualification requirements

This position requires a Master’s degree in physics, mathematics or 
meteorology. We are looking for a candidate with some background on several of 
the following disciplines:

Good background in physics and mathematics
Good knowledge in physical and numerical modelling
Experience in image processing and SAR and optical remote sensing
Some knowledge in (Arctic) meteorology would be an asset
Some knowledge and experience with numerical modelling would also be an asset

General qualification requirements and assessment

We are looking for interested, active and highly motivated candidates, who 
likes to explore new technologies and enjoys working in a collaboration with 
others. Good communication skills in English are therefore necessary and 
documented fluency in English is required.

To gain admission to the PhD programme, you must have a grade average of C or 
better. Further information about requirements for admission
to PhD studies is available here:

The assessment will emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the 
position. You must be willing to engage in the ongoing development of your 
discipline and the university as a whole.

During this assessment process, emphasis will be put on your potential for 
research as shown by the Master’s thesis and any other academic works. In 
addition, we may consider work experience or other activities of significance 
for the PhD studies.


Your application must include:
CV and application letter
Diplomas and transcripts (diploma supplement)
Documentation of English language proficiency
Master’s thesis and any other academic works

Qualification with a Master’s degree is required before commencement in the 
position. If you are near completion of your Master’s degree, you may still 
apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your 
supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must 
document completion of your degree before commencement in the position.

All documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language. Submit the 
application electronically through Jobbnorge.

We offer

An interesting research project
A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
Good career opportunities
A large degree of independence in work
Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
Pension scheme through the state pension fund

The UiT campus is located near the centre of Tromsø, a vibrant city located in 
Northern Norway with approximately 75 000 inhabitants. The location also offers 
ample opportunities for e.g., sighting aurora, hiking and skiing.

Terms of employment

Remuneration of PhD Candidate positions are in salary code 1017, and normally 
starts at salary grade 50 on the pay scale for Norwegian state employees 
corresponding to approx. 36 400 NOK/month in 2018. There is a 2 % deduction for 
contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. In addition, UiT 
pays 12 % directly to the Pension Fund on top of the salary.

You have to be qualified for and participate in our PhD study program. As many 
as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research 
training; thus, if you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we 
will not appoint you to this position.

More information about moving to Norway:


We make the appointment in accordance with the regulations in force concerning 
State Employees and Civil Servants and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you 
will find more information for applicants.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has HR policy objectives that emphasize 
diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their 
age, gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background. The 
university is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise, and we will emphasize 
making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with 
reduced functional ability.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the 
Personal Data Act. You may request to not be registered on the public list of 
applicants, but the University may decide that your name will be made public. 
You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.

We look forward to receiving your application!

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