Postdoctoral position in Remote Sensing of the Arctic Ocean

The postdoc position will be hosted by the Radar Remote Sensing group at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, in close collaboration with the Maritime Environment group at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology. The two research groups collaborate with oceanographers and modellers at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and the University of Gothenburg.

Curiosity is the driving force behind the research at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences and our goals are to find new knowledge about space, our earth and our future energy supply. Through observations of the universe as well as earth, we make predictions about the future and promote sustainable development. To reach our goals, we develop highly sensitive measuring instruments and observational methods, as well as advanced algorithms for data analysis and theoretical models.

Shipping and Marine Technology covers a wide research field, ranging from environmental research to the development of the latest technologies for propulsion and navigation of ships. Our research aims to improve ship efficiency, marine environment, and working conditions for the ship personnel.

Information about the project

The rapid change of the Arctic region and melting of the polar ice open up for an increase in maritime activities in the Arctic region; both increased interest in shorter shipping routes between the Atlantic and the Pacific and exploration of new oil and gas fields. The expected increase in maritime activities brings an increased risk for oil spill and pollution. From an environmental perspective the Arctic region is very sensitive, much due to the low temperatures that slow down biogeochemical processes.

The aim of the project is to use archived and new satellite data to provide background information to a risk assessment study on effects and potential geographical distribution of oil pollution along prospected future shipping lanes in the Arctic and to identify future challenges. The project is funded by Chalmers Area of Advance for Transport.

Job description

The main task of the postdoc will be to compile estimates of sea ice extent, sea ice drift, ocean currents and surface wind conditions for the risk assessment. An important source of information is expected to be satellite data and satellite products. The collected data should be processed and analyzed and the resulting information should be formatted and documented for use in the risk assessment. The estimation of ocean and sea ice parameters can be done with algorithms that are available at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Planning of and participation in field work could become a part of the job. Methods, results and conclusions from the research are expected to be presented in scientific papers and in a report. Collaboration with researchers and Ph.D. students at both departments, as well as outside Chalmers, will be fundamental for the success of the research.

The employment is limited to a maximum of 2 years (1+1). The majority of the working time will be devoted to research, but there is also a possibility to take part in teaching or supervision of M.Sc thesis students and Ph.D. students.


The applicant should have Ph.D. degree in remote sensing, oceanography, environmental science, physical geography, electrical engineering or related disciplines by the start of the appointment. The Ph.D. degree should normally not be older than 3 years. A successful candidate should have a solid background in mathematics and physics. Applicants with experience in remote sensing and good programming skills will be preferred. Experience from research on sea-ice, sea surface winds, ocean currents or other topics closely related to the focus of the project is an advantage, but not required.

Fluency in English, both written and verbal is a must, as well as good collaboration and communication skills. The research will require a person that is motivated, has the ability to drive the work forward and is able to perform well both in a group and in individual work.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20120285 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

  1. Application: (Please name the uploaded document in ReachMee as: APPLICATION, family name, ref. number)
    – CV, including list of publications,
    – two reference persons who can be contacted by Chalmers (describe association with them and give their contact addresses),
    – attested copies of education certificates, including grade reports and other documents.
  2. A letter of application detailing your specific qualifications for the position, (named: QUALIFICATIONS, family name, ref. number)
    – maximum one A4 page
  3. Research description: (named: RESEARCH PLANS, family name, ref. number)
    – 2-3 pages describing accomplished research and the plans for future research

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 2012-10-31

For questions, please contact:

Associate Professor, Leif Eriksson, Radar Remote Sensing Group, Department of Earth and Space Sciences,, Tel. +46-31-7724856

For information on the Maritime Environment Group at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology, please contact Professor Karin Andersson,,  Tel. +46-31-7722152




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