Vacancy No. 14-2019-IMK-AAF

PhD position: LIDAR Remote Sensing/Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds

Job description

The location and type of clouds and aerosol particles in the atmosphere can be explored at high time and spatial resolution by means of backscattered laser light employing 3D scanning LIDAR systems. This state of the art technique helps to improve our understanding of atmospheric aerosols and clouds, their interaction as well as their implications for weather, climate and air quality. The information obtained by LIDAR measurements can be combined with detailed stationary characterization of aerosol physics and chemistry e.g. for source apportionment or assessment of health effects. At IMK-AAF we use a measurement container equipped with a suite of aerosol and gas sensors including various mass spectrometers (aerosol mass spectrometer, HR-TOF-AMS; single particle mass spectrometer, SPMS; chemical ionization mass spectrometer, FIGAERO-CIMS). To improve the understanding of aerosol and cloud processes we also use the renowned aerosol and cloud simulation chamber AIDA (84.5 m3) for the investigation of aerosol optics, chemistry and cloud physics. These tools allow for insights into chemical processes related to aerosol particle formation and composition as well as formation and composition of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nuclei (IN). The mass spectrometers and the LIDAR system are used for aerosol-cloud interaction studies on high-altitude research stations, at urban locations for air quality studies, or more remote environments to investigate interaction of natural and anthropogenic emissions relevant for both gas and particle phase chemical processes. Special focus of this work will be on the potential influence of heat waves on the atmospheric aerosol in the framework of the project MOSES of the Helmholtz Society ( This will be studied in dedicated field experiments with researcher teams from several Institutes.

Personal qualification

- We are looking for a highly motivated student with an interest in atmospheric sciences, preferentially atmospheric aerosols, and enthusiasm for experimental work.

- A willingness to solve technical problems and to work on the dedicated application of the aerosol LIDAR including data analysis is preferential.

- The ability to spend several weeks per year in the field is required.

- We are looking for a candidate with a strong commitment to research ethics, teamwork, and a good background in either physics, chemistry, environmental science/engineering or meteorology with a good master´s degree.

Organizational unit

Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Aerosol Research (IMK-AAF)

Starting date

as soon as possible

Contract duration

limited to 3 years

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Saathoff, E-Mail:


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 14-2019-IMK-AAF.
Personnel support is provided by 

Mr Gehringer
phone: +49 721 608-25004,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

If qualified, severely disabled persons will be preferred.