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BIRA werft aan

Postdoctoral researcher

Deadline voor sollicitaties

The work consists in supporting the activities of the Planetary Aeronomy group and in particular those related to the development of the radiative transfer tools used in the team, but also by other teams within the institute.

Divisie, context

To find out more about our Planetary Aeronomy division, please have a look at BIRA-IASB's Planetary Aeronomy webpage.


The candidate will be responsible of:

  • Developing and improving codes and algorithms for the analysis of the IR spectra acquired by space-borne instruments. This includes the use and development of an existing radiative transfer code optimized for the IR spectral domain;
  • The focus will be on the improvement of the implementation of spectroscopic processes and the maintenance of spectral databases associated to the project.

In particular, the candidate will contribute to:

  • Improve and optimize the existing software codes (Fortran, C), implementing new parametrizations to better simulate spectroscopic processes, including line mixing, speed dependent line profile;
  • Develop new functionalities for the retrieval of the temperature. This will require implementing derivatives of all supported line shapes and propagate the derivatives with respect to temperature through the code;
  • Test and validate the new implementations on real data.
Vereiste competenties

The candidate must hold a PhD degree in Sciences or similar with at least 2 years experience as postdoc, if possible in spectroscopy related topics.

Programming skills:

  • Very good knowledge of programming languages (Python, Fortran and C) under UNIX and windows environments;
  • Knowledge of different file formats (HDF5, PDS3, PDS4, FITS): able to write specific tools to read/write/convert files;
  • Good knowledge of UNIX and Windows environments;
  • Knowledge of radiative transfer theory is a prerequisite.
  • Expertise in infrared spectroscopy (theory and experimental) and spectral line shape profiles is a prerequisite.
Aanbod en voordelen

The candidate should be available on 1st March 2020 for a period of 7 months (end in Sept. 2020)

- Salary is according to the federal regulations for the scientific contractual personnel.
- Dynamic working environment with international contacts.
- Refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation or bicycle.
- Access to special advantages arranged for the employees of the federal scientific institutions (e.g., collective hospital insurance and possibility to follow trainings).


For additional information, please contact Dr. Séverine Robert via


Send your application letter with reference: “SCI_D43_SPECTRO” to:

Meer over het BIRA

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.