PhD Position - Data Science in Nuclear Verification - Extracting Verification-relevant Information from Geospatial Big Data

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IEK-6 Nukleare Entsorgung und Reaktorsicherheit



Area of research:

PHD Thesis



Job description:

The Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy (HDS-LEE) provides an interdisciplinary environment for educating the next generation of data scientists in close contact to domain-specific knowledge and research. All three domains – life & medical sciences, earth sciences, and energy systems/materials – are characterized by the generation of huge heterogeneously structured data sets, which have to be evaluated in order to obtain a holistic understanding of very complex systems. Visit HDS-LEE at: www.hds-lee.deProject overview: Similar to ‘big data’ trends in other fields, also the data available to support international safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation is not only increasing in volume, but also getting more heterogeneous, unstructured and complex in nature. Geospatial data such as satellite imagery represents a key source of information for the implementation and verification of nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament treaties. This project aims at developing an automated procedure that allows for an effective integrated analysis of any number of geospatial data acquired over the same area of interest and providing a suitable visualisation of relevant trends, patterns and anomalies of safeguards-relevant information in the area of interest.


Your Job:


Development and evaluation of automated procedures for



  • pre-processing of satellite imagery for radiometric and geometric correction, incl. orthorectification

  • extracting trends, patterns and anomalies at a given area of interest (AOI) using satellite imagery time series analysis

  • visualising trends, patterns and anomalies at a given AOI, with complementary geospatial information

Application and evaluation of developed procedures using case studies (related to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and the proposed Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT))

Your Profile:

  • Masters degree (M. Sc.) in geoinformatics, computer science, physics, mathematics, nuclear engineering, or a relat-ed field
  • Highly motivated candidate with strong mathematical skills
  • Knowledge in signal/image processing, and/or data analysis
  • Good programming skills (preferably Python or C++)
  • Excellent knowledge of written and oral English: TOEFL or equivalent evidence of English-speaking skills
  • You are convincing with your confident attitude and good communication skills
  • Outstanding organizational skills and the ability to work independently
  • Very good cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team in an international and interdisciplinary environment
  • A high level of scholarship as indicated, for example, by bachelor and master study transcripts and two reference letters

Our Offer:

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • Unique HDS-LEE graduate school program
  • A highly motivated group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences
  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. via a comprehensive further training program
  • Pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund)
  • A contract for the duration of 3 years

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.We also welcome applications from disabled persons.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2020D-007