February 2020
Message 104

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[Met-jobs] PhD position in airborne laser spectroscopy at University Grenoble, France

From "Zahn, Andreas (IMK)" <>
To "" <>
Date Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:34:27 +0000

The University of Grenoble Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Physics (LIPHY, Grenoble, France) and the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany) are offering a three-year PhD Position in 

Development of a cavity enhanced laser spectrometer for operation on-board an Airbus A350-900 passenger aircraft


Project summary: The successful candidate will work on a collaborative project with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany) coordinating the European research infrastructure IAGOS-CARIBIC [1]. Here a complex laboratory measures ~100 trace gases, aerosol and cloud parameters on board a modified commercial airliner. Objective of the current visionary project will be to add an instrument based on optical-feedback cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (OF-CEAS) which analyzes the D/H and 18O/16O isotope ratios (for the first time worldwide) in both water vapour and cloud particles. Major scientific objective is to better understand climate-relevant processes and their long-term changes just in the altitude range where the dominant part of the Earth’s greenhouse effect is generated. Instrument development and characterization will take place in Grenoble, whereas the instrument integration on the new Lufthansa Airbus A350-900, as well as the first measurement campaign(s), will happen at Karlsruhe. Both Grenoble and KIT will be involved in all stages of the project.


Tasks: The PhD researcher will modify a laboratory infrared spectrometer (largely developed by the LIPHY and based on the principle of OF-CEAS [2]) to an airborne system that should achieve state-of-the-art performance, also under flight conditions. This will require an elaborate instrument control and the development of an in-flight calibration system. The instrumentation will be tested, characterized and validated in the laboratory and a climate chamber. The second part of the PhD project will be concerned with aircraft certification, in-flight demonstration during the IAGOS-CARIBIC flights (typically four per month), and data analysis.


Requirements: The candidate needs a master’s degree in Physics or Engineering. Preference will be given to a candidate with previous experience in laser technology, electronics and/or optics. Additional useful skills are programming and data analysis. Excellent English writing and verbal communication skills are essential. The successful candidate will write a PhD dissertation, publish papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and participate in scientific meetings. He/she will be required to spend longer periods in Karlsruhe, and if desired may even change his/her primary place of residence. The candidate will be rewarded with a fascinating and exciting work that enables the collection of expert knowledge in contrasting scientific and engineering fields from optics, laser spectroscopy to aeronautics and atmospheric sciences.


Further details: The appointment will be at the University of Grenoble for a duration of 36 months. The work will be supervised by Prof. Erik Kerstel and Dr. Daniele Romanini at the UGA, with considerable help by the aircraft/climate people at KIT. The UGA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and has a long history of excellence in engineering, physics, and natural sciences. The university ranks consistently among the top research universities in France and worldwide. Total student enrollment is 48,000, of which approximately 6,000 are international and 3,700 are graduate students. Grenoble is an exciting place to learn and conduct research! The city of Grenoble has a rich student and cultural life and is known for its outdoors activities and the beauty of its surrounding mountains.


Applications, including (a) a cover letter, describing your experience, research and professional interests and ambitions, (b) curriculum vitae, (c) unofficial transcripts and (d) contact information of at least two references, should be sent to and



[2] Morville, Romanini, Kerstel. 2014. “Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy with Optical Feedback.” Springer Series in Optical Sciences 179:163–209.

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