Postdoctoral Researcher in Cloud Computing for Geological Remote Sensing
University of Twente Department of Earth Systems Analysis


Job description

The Department of Earth Systems Analysis (ESA) of the faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation at the University of Twente is looking for a postdoctoral researcher with experience in cloud computing for remote sensing image processing, for example Google Earth Engine or equivalent approaches. The Department of Earth Systems Analysis combines Earth science knowledge with spatial modelling and advanced remote sensing to understand Earth processes in space and time. Our education and research contribute to the sustainable use of energy and Earth resources and help reduce disaster risk and the impact of natural hazards on society.

There is a strong need for monitoring our changing planet, particularly variations over time or over large areas. Through this position we aim to include the factor time in geological remote sensing, and aim for multi-temporal observation of earth surface processes and composition over large areas, going to continental scale, with products based on operational (continuous) data.

The position will have an own (technical) line of research, but will also support ongoing initiatives and plans made within the department. Examples of applications are continental-scale maps of iron-oxide minerals, development of landslide catalogues, observation of thawing cycles in the northern tundras, mineral exploration in Africa, and geothermal hotspot detection. We primarily use data from operational missions for land applications, such as Copernicus (Sentinel-1 and -2), and short-term missions such as ECOSTRESS. Many products can directly feed into initiatives in which the ITC is currently enrolled like Digital Earth Africa, NASA-SERVIR, and AfricaArray.

Much remote sensing image analysis is based on statistical analysis. Our philosophy, however, is to develop maps and sensing products that have a close link to physical reality. The emphasis is therefore on the development of expert systems, used for the quantification of earth surface materials and processes, possibly combined with machine learning approaches. You should share the same philosophy, and facilitate the distribution of the obtained knowledge into practical earth science applications.

Your profile

You are a remote sensing specialist (PhD) with experience in multi-temporal and/or hyper/multi-spectral image analysis. Programming experience in Python (or Google Earth Engine directly) is a prerequisite.

You have:

  • A PhD in remote sensing, Earth sciences, or physics (with affinity to Earth sciences)
  • Experience in scripting or programming for image processing and cloud computing
  • An affinity to work on earth science applications like resource exploration and natural hazards
  • You have an excellent command of English. Knowledge of, or willingness to learn Dutch, is an advantage.

You must have a PhD at the time of employment, and show a demonstrated record or strong promise of research productivity. There are opportunities to advise MSc and PhD graduate students, and teach graduate courses in your speciality.


Additional information regarding the position can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Mark van der Meijde (e-mail: You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 1 March 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application has to include (i) a motivation letter clearly stating how you meet the selection criteria and also outlining your research interests, and (ii) a detailed CV with references. Applications that do not include both documents will not be considered.

Our offer

We offer an inspiring and challenging international environment. You will be employed for two years.

  • Gross monthly salary between € 2,972.00 and € 4,274.00 depending on experience and qualifications (job profile Researcher, level 4).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development
  • A solid pension scheme
  • Minimum of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company.

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.

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