KU Leuven

2 Postdoc positions in the ERC AdG "Open SESAME" on a solar atmosphere model

2024-06-30 (Europe/Brussels)
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Within the new ERC Advanced Grant "Open SESAME" (PI Stefaan Poedts), we advertise 2 Postdoc positions to join the team of Prof. Stefaan Poedts at the Centre for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA) of the Mathematics Department of KU Leuven, Belgium. Selected candidates will work on the study and modelling of the solar atmosphere using observations form space missions, theory, simulation and Machine Learning.

The three selected candidates will interact with each other, with the team of Prof. Poedts (about 15-20 collaborators among Research Leaders, postdocs, PhD and Master students), and of other professors at the CmPA and elsewhere at KU Leuven as well as with a wide network of European Commission, ESA and Belgian-funded projects (e.g., the ESA Virtual Space Weather Modelling Centre, two FWO projects, ESA projects FIRESPELL and EUROGICs, EU projects PITHIA-NRF and SWATNet).

The Centre for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA) of KU Leuven (https://wis.kuleuven.be/CmPA) is a large and growing research group focusing in plasma physics, astrophysics, and space science. The CmPA has long been a leading force at KU Leuven and in Belgium in the development of space weather and supercomputing, co-founding the Intel Exascience Lab and leading European Commission-funded project in space weather (EUHFORIA 2.0, coordinated by Lapenta) and on reentry of space vehicles (MEESST, coordinated by Andrea Lani).
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The study of the solar atmosphere (incl. the corona, TR and chromosphere) is of great intellectual interest for the direct access it offers to critical processes with many astrophysical and laboratory applications (waves, instabilities, magnetic reconnection, particle acceleration, turbulence, shocks). But the study of the solar atmosphere is also of great societal impact because space weather processes can lead to severe storms in space with existential consequences for humans and technology in space and posing a serious threat to the infrastructures (electrical grid, telecommunications) our society depends upon. Open SESAME intends to develop the first time-accurate multifluid model for the solar atmosphere, incl. the TR and the chromosphere.

We foresee two possible focuses, one for each selected Postdoctoral candidate and/or in collaboration:

  • The two- and three-fluid modelling of the solar atmosphere (starting form our MHD coronal model COCONUT and our two-fluid coronal model COCONUT-MF);
  • The development of a time evolving AI-generated magnetograms and quantification of magnetogram uncertainties for time-accurate global atmosphere modelling.


Applicants should hold (before start-date of the position) an PhD degree in astrophysics, physics, mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence/machine learning or else own an equivalent diploma. Interest or experience in at least one of the following topics is a positive asset:

  • Solar physics,
  • Space missions and space exploration,
  • Data analysis, artificial intelligence/ machine learning,
  • Computer science, computational (astro)physics,
  • Analytic/numerical model-development,
  • Knowledge of programming (preferably in C++ and python, parallel computing and use of GPUs)

Proficiency in English is required for all applicants (or is expected to be achieved during the first months of employment).


The application package should include:


  • a curriculum vitae, with a publication list if relevant;
  • a statement of research interest (max. 1 page);
  • a summary of the research experience (max. 2 pages)
  • a list of all master courses with their number of study points and the individual scores obtained as well as the yearly averages.
  • the names and contact details of two reference persons who would be prepared to send confidential recommendation letters should they be requested to do so. The selection committee will send out requests for such letters for applicants on the short-list after an initial ranking.


The short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview (to be held through videoconference or in presence depending on the geographical constraints and sanitary conditions).


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Stefaan Poedts, tel.: +32 16 32 70 23, mail: stefaan.poedts@kuleuven.be.

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Informatie over de vacature

2 Postdoc positions in the ERC AdG "Open SESAME" on a solar atmosphere model
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
2024-06-30 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-06-30 23:59 (CET)
Soort functie
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

De pagina van de werkgever bekijken