PhD Position: Small-scale Rainfall Variability & Precipitation Estimates

TU Delft University
Study in:Netherlands
Deadline: 31 October 2017

PhD Position: Small-scale Rainfall Variability & Precipitation Estimates

Department/faculty: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.


The Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing conducts a research programme in the disciplines of geodesy and remote sensing, natural geophysics, and climate and atmospheric sciences. It emphasises the interrelation between new observational techniques and applications in engineering and geosciences, including the development of ground-based, airborne, and space-borne methods and models. The department has an internationally leading role in research related to Earth-oriented space research, satellite geodesy, gravity field modelling, natural hazards, geodynamics and climate studies.

Job description

Continuous precipitation monitoring at the global scale is important for many scientific and societal needs. NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission aims at providing next-generation satellite observations of rain across the globe every three hours. The satellite consists of a core observatory carrying advanced weather radars and an international network of partner satellites with various passive infrared / microwave sensors. One critical aspect affecting the performance of GPM is the high spatial and temporal variability of rainfall. The goal of this PhD project is to increase our understanding of the small-scale variability of rainfall and how it impacts the accuracy of GPM rainfall retrievals. We will make use of advanced rainfall sensors located at the Cabauw experimental site for atmospheric research, the Netherlands, in particular the TU Delft high-resolution TARA and IDRA radars and an optical disdrometer for measuring the size distribution of raindrops. The results of the project will be used to improve the GPM satellite rainfall products and the representation of rainfall variability in hydrological models.

PhD Position: Requirements

Applicants should have an MSc degree in physics, mathematics, environmental sciences or a related field, solid knowledge of statistics and programming, and an interest in the field of atmospheric science and remote sensing. They should be curious, motivated, good at communicating and capable of working with a broad team of multi-disciplinary scientists.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Marc Schleiss, phone: +31 (0)15-2784913, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, proof of English language proficiency, the abstract of your MSc thesis (one page), two pages about your ideas of how to approach the position, and a letter of application in a single PDF file entitled “CiTG17.28_Lastname.pdf” by 31 October 2017 to Dr. Marc Schleiss via

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