Postdoctoral Research Scholarship in Asteroid Engineering

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Current state: Approved
Department: Division of Space Technology
City: Kiruna
Country: Sweden
Contact Person: Assoc. Prof. Mikael Granvik or Prof. Reza Emami
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Luleå University of Technology
Application Due Date: Saturday, June 30 2018
Web Link:

The mandate of Onboard Space Systems at the Division of Space Technology of Luleå University of Technology is to provide research and education on concurrent methodologies for the design and development of systems for control, observation, instrumentation, communication and manipulation in the upper atmosphere, in space and on the small extraterrestrial bodies and planetary surfaces. Some of the current research subjects include nanosatellite concurrent design, satellite formation flying, free-flying robot manipulators, satellite/robot teams for space debris surveillance and removal, asteroid and planetary exploration. The research group has established the Nanosatellite Laboratory hosting state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for the fabrication, integration, and environmental and hardware-in-the-loop tests and simulations, as well as a ground station for tracking and operating miniaturized satellites. The facilities has recently been used for the complete cycle of design and development of a 2U cubesat for the QB50 project, which is currently fully operation in orbit. The group has also recently established the Asteroid Engineering Center with a research and education mandate on asteroid exploration, redirection and prospecting. Current collaborations with the industry include joint research and development projects with Swedish Space Corporation, OHB-Sweden and RUAG Space. The group also has international research collaborations with academic research groups in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Brazil, and Finland.

Project description
The successful candidate will focus on projects aiming to understand the mechanisms leading to the disruption of asteroids close to the Sun by planning, executing, analyzing, and modeling heating experiments on meteorites and asteroid-analogue materials carried out in the new Asteroid Engineering Laboratory. The knowledge gained through the experiments will be combined with the state-of-the-art population models of near-Earth asteroids, which describe their orbit, size, and surface properties, to provide insight into the interior characteristics (such as material composition) of the disrupting asteroids.

The candidate will take a central role in our research projects including collaboration with our academic partners. The position is primarily research-oriented, but with a possibility for the candidate to be involved in limited teaching activities at the department. The candidate is expected to publish research results in internationally renowned journals and at international scientific conferences, and to participate in on-going activities for securing future funding of the existing and new research projects. The position is for up to two years.

To qualify for a position as a postdoctoral research fellow on scholarship, you must have a PhD, or doctoral degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a doctorate or doctoral degree. For this scholarship, a Ph.D. in planetary science, astronomy, geosciences, geoengineering, space engineering, or a related field is meriting, as well as experience in numerical modeling and experimental research on meteorites and/or other rocky materials.

All candidates fulfilling the requirements are encouraged to apply, but priority will be given to candidates who have completed their Ph.D. within three years prior to the application deadline. If there are special circumstances, the Ph.D. could have been completed earlier. Special circumstances mean leave due to illness, parental leave, clinical practice, trade union duties, or similar cases. Applicants who are very close to finishing their Ph.D. program are also encouraged to apply.

Assessment criteria
The following assessment criteria apply for the scholarship:

  1. Scientific expertise
    1. Certificate of Ph.D. degree
    2. Scientific publications 
  2. Educational expertise
    1. Pedagogic education
    2. Documented educational experience
    3. Documented educational evaluations
  3. Other assessment criteria are weighted equally
    1. Experience in experimental research 

For further information, please contact: Assoc. Prof. Mikael Granvik, [email protected] or Prof. Reza Emami[email protected]Chair of Onboard Space systems, +46 980 67546.

We prefer that you apply for this scholarship by clicking on the link below. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of relevant university diplomas. Your application must be written in English or Swedish. Mark your application with the reference number below.

Last day of application: 2018 06 30

Reference number: 1046-2018