PhD Position in Exposure and Risk Modeling and Testing

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ)

Potsdam, Germany

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Job description:

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national research centre for Earth sciences in Germany. With approximately 1.280 employees (including visiting scientists), the GFZ is conducting interdisciplinary research on the “System Earth” and the influence of humans on the planet. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, it is part of Germany’s largest science organization. For Section 2.6 "Seismic Hazard and Risk Dynamics" we invite applications for a

Job Vacancy No. 03848

The RISE and LEXIS projects, both supported by the EU within the Horizon 2020 framework, and the LOKI project, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research, aim at developing various aspects of a global dynamic exposure model for homogeneous global risk modeling. This high-resolution building-based model is completely derived from open data, building classifications are algorithmically driven to ensure transparency and reproducibility, and is fully dynamic through capturing changes to the open data in near real-time. This model has to be combined with drone imagery (project LOKI) and low-cost acceleration sensors in buildings (project RISE with the section-spin-off company QuakeSaver). Furthermore, the exposure and the risk models will be tested with highest scrutiny (project RISE) according to the methods and techniques as developed by the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability. This project will benefit from a unique working environment:

  • The hosting team (GFZ section 2.6) has a strong expertise in all aspects of seismic hazard and risk and is actively developing earthquake source models, ground motion models, and exposure models.

  • The hosting team is also developing and operating a testing center for evaluating all components of the hazard and risk chain.

  • The exposure model is computationally expensive and the hosting section offers the hardware for all challenging tasks.

  • The recruited researcher will be integrated in the European project infrastructure and collaborating teams.

Your responsibilities:

  • collect exposure data for pilot regions and compute risk scenarios
  • develop the theoretical procedure for integrating exposure data of various resolution (country-wide aggregates, region-specific aggregates, building-by-building information) in a fully probabilistic sense, creating fully probabilistic exposure indicators for risk and loss computations
  • design and implement testing procedures for exposure and risk models
  • develop the integration of low-cost acceleration sensor data for exposure and loss modeling
  • develop the integration of rapid damage reports through drone imagery into loss modeling

Your qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Geophysics or Geoinformatics, or similar discipline
  • advanced experience with Linux, shell scripting, Python, relational databases (PostgreSQL and PostGIS), QGIS, and visualization tools
  • experience in earthquake hazard assessments using OpenQuake
  • willingness to work in an international, interdisciplinary team
  • willingness to extensively travel with focus on Europe and East Asia

Starting date: 1st March 2020
Fixed term: 36 months
Salary: This position has been assessed as being salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications.
Working hours: part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
Location: Potsdam You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international work environment that is characterized by exciting research projects. The compatibility of work and family life is of particular concern to the GFZ. Therefore, it offers the opportunity for flexible working time and workplaces. Moreover, there is a kindergarten located on the research campus.The GFZ is a partner with Geo.X (, and as such it is well connected with other geoscience institutions in Potsdam und Berlin. Geo.X forms the largest regional cluster of geoscientific expertise in Europe and offers excellent opportunities for cooperation and development.Please submit your application online by 27th January 2020 using the "Apply" button.Equal opportunity is an inherent part of our personnel policy. Therefore we are particularly welcoming applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons will be given preferential treatment in the case of equal qualification.We will retain your application documents for at least three months, even if the application is not successful.If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to call Ms Buge at +49 (0) 331-288-28878.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 15133229