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PhD position – Dynamics and evolution of small bodies in the Solar System

Call for 1 PhD position: Dynamics and evolution of small bodies in the Solar System

The position is fully funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) for a 4 year duration, in the frame of an Ambizione Project. The successful candidate will conduct the research work under the supervision of Dr. Fabio Ferrari and co-supervision of PD Dr. Martin Jutzi, at the Institute of Physics, University of Bern (Switzerland).

The project aims at studying the physical and dynamical properties of asteroids and other small celestial bodies in the Solar System. The main focus will be to investigate the internal structure and surface properties of rubble-pile objects. The study will be conducted using a numerical approach, using N-body and/or SPH simulations to model rubble-pile objects as gravitational aggregates.

Part of the research work will be conducted in close cooperation with the AIDA (Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment) international team. The successful candidate will be involved in the scientific work of ESA’s Hera and NASA’s DART mission working groups, to investigate the properties of the Didymos binary asteroid system. International collaborations are foreseen with partner institutions of the project (Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, NASA-JPL and Politecnico di Milano).

Salary (per year): 47,040 CHF (51,400 USD; 43,700€) to 50,040 CHF (54,600 USD; 46,500€).

Additional budget for travels and conferences is available.

Required skills: The successful candidate will have a background in a quantitative science or engineering discipline and a research interest in asteroids and other small celestial bodies of the Solar System. Experience in programming (C++) and numerical modeling is highly desirable. A M.Sc. level degree or equivalent is required at the time of employment. Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

How to apply: The application shall be sent to Dr. Fabio Ferrari ( Please include the following documents:

Start date: To be agreed with applicant (Dec 2020 – Feb 2021)

Deadline: Complete application received by November 1st, 2020 will receive full consideration. After this date, applications will be considered depending on availability.

Categories: Jobs


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