PhD position at the Institute of Planetary Research – DLR (Germany)

The Institute of Planetary Research, which is part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), invites applications for a PhD position to work in the department “Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres” (EPA).
This research-oriented PhD position is concerned with estimating the internal composition distribution of ice and gas giant exoplanets, including k2 estimates. The position is for a duration of three years with 19.5 working hours per week (part-time).

Job Reference: 58760
Application deadline:  18 October 2021
Starting date:  1 December 2021
Where: Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstraße 2 12489 (Berlin)
Duration of the contract:  36 months – part-time (19.5 working hours per week)
Salary: up to German TVöD 13

Job Tasks 

The successful candidate is expected to collect input data, improve existing tools by using advanced numerical and mathematical techniques, and to apply the improved methods to compute planet models. Insight gained from gaseous planet modeling where k2 is known shall be applied to Neptune-sized planets for predicting k2. A number of research tasks shall be addressed:

  • implementing particle transport into an existing thermal evolution code in order to account for the redistribution of elements
  • application to the thermal evolution of Neptune-like planets
  • collecting equation of state data with entropy, from the Research Unit and from the literature
  • calculation of the entropy of mixing in multi-component plasmas from the ideal parts
  • computation of the static Love number k2 of generic planet models of varying mass, composition, age, and rotational states
  • computation of the first dynamical correction as caused by deviations from 1:1 spin-orbit resonance, and test of numerical results on Jupiter and Saturn
  • computation of a grid of planet models and their k2 values for generic planets and consideration of individual exoplanets for which k2 has been measured
  • publication of the research results in appropriate Journals like A&A, ApJ, PSJ and presentation of the results at national and international meetings and conferences

Profile’s requirements 

  • University degree (Master/diplom) in Natural Sciences (Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, or equivalent)
  • background knowledge in stellar astrophysics or planetary science
  • experience in scientific programming with high-level languages (e.g., Python, C++)
  • good command of English language and communications skills including the ability to write scientific papers
  • previous experience in material science (equations of state) and numerical computations will be of advantage
  • candidates are expected to work independently as well as in collaboration with team members

How to apply 

Applications shall be submitted no later than October 18, 2021 through the job announcement on the DLR website.