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Postdoctoral Scientist (m/f/x) to work on high-resolution atmospheric modelling





Start date
Deadline for applications
Job title description

In the frame of the PRODEX project TROVA (TROPOMI Validation), aiming to support satellite missions with evaluation of satellite products of air pollutants using high resolution atmospheric modelling, we are looking for a postdoctoral scientist holding a recent Doctoral degree in Sciences, for a total duration of two years, starting from March 1st, 2022.

Statute: Contractual
Start date: March 1, 2021
Deadline for applications: January 15, 2021

Division, context

Within BIRA-IASB, the Tropospheric Modelling Team is focusing on the emissions of pollutants in the atmosphere, the chemistry and role of chemical compounds involved in the budget of oxidants, and the derivation of emissions of trace gases from satellite data by inverse modelling. More details about our activities can be found at


The PRODEX project TROVA (TROPOMI Validation) aims at an improved understanding of air composition in polluted regions through the use of satellite data and atmospheric modeling. It also intends to evaluate the quality of current satellite products and to develop expertise for supporting future space missions. The targeted species are nitrogen oxides (NOx), formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and ammonia, all very important for air quality and climate. To achieve these objectives, we will use the WRF-Chem (Weather Research Forecast with Chemistry) high-resolution atmospheric model to simulate air composition at spatial scales ranging from 15 km to below 1 km. WRF-Chem is an open-source community model. It is widely used to investigate air quality issues and as a tool for evaluating satellite and other data at regional, local or city scale. The model will be used as an inter-comparison platform between ground-based, airborne and satellite data.

The successful candidate will be in charge of:

  • improvement of key features of the model, e.g. emissions and their variability
  • development of high-resolution simulations using the WRF-Chem model over selected regions of interest
  • development of analysis tools for the visualization of the model input/output
  • evaluation of the model against satellite observations of air pollutants, aircraft and ground-based data
  • investigation of assimilation techniques for the derivation of top-down high-resolution emissions
  • quantification of the added value of top-down estimates for air quality analyses and forecasts.

He/she will present the research results through scientific publications, project reports, communications to workshops and international congresses.

Required competences
  • Doctoral degree in Sciences
  • Experience in Atmospheric science and modeling are strong assets
  • Knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Fortran, Python, C++, Matlab)
  • Experience with data handling and analysis
  • Advanced level in oral and written English, knowledge of Dutch and/or French would be an asset
  • Strong motivation, initiative, scientific curiosity and team spirit
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, sense for organization, timeliness
Offer and benefits
  • Full-time 2-year contract, with possibility of extension (upon positive evaluation)
  • Possibility to acquire a bonus for bilinguism (Dutch/French)
  • Salary according to the federal regulations for the scientific career
  • Dynamic working environment with international contacts
  • Refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation or bicycle
  • Flexible schedule and possibility to work occasionally from home
  • Access to special advantages arranged for the employees of the federal scientific institutions (e.g., collective hospital insurance, possibility to follow trainings, free childcare in July/August)
  • Working in a green and pleasant environment

After evaluation of the application letters, the selected candidates will be invited for an interview, or a teleconference.


Send your application (CV and cover letter) with the reference “D23_TROPO” to: trissevgeni (dot) stavrakou (at) aeronomie (dot) be

Deadline for applications: January 15, 2021


More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its founding in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere and other planets, and outer space.

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, on board balloons or in space and computer models.