Assistant Professor ('UD') Astrodynamics - near Earth environment Delft University of Technology, Faculty Aerospace Engineering Netherlands

Assistant Professor ('UD') Astrodynamics - near Earth environment

Department/faculty: Faculty Aerospace Engineering

Level: Doctorate

Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly

Contract: 6 years Tenure Track

Salary: 3545 - 5513 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Aerospace Engineering


The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.
The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.

Astrodynamics is one of the core themes, in addition to planetary exploration and astronomical instrumentation, of the Astrodynamics and Space Missions (AS) section of the Department of Space Engineering in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The AS section has acquired a strong, internationally acknowledged reputation in this field of expertise. It is specialised in extremely precise orbit computations using advanced tracking systems, including mission analysis, force modelling and data analysis for scientific applications.

Together with the Space Systems Engineering (SSE) section, AS provides the core of all spaceflight teaching of the faculty in both the BSc and MSc phases. This teaching also includes the dynamics of powered rocket ascent and re-entry. The section comprises about 30 academic staff members, researchers and PhD students.    

Job description
If you are interested in working on an array of versatile satellites that observe the Earth’s environment with sophisticated instrument suites at typical altitudes between 200 and 1500 km, this might be an excellent opening for you.

You will be focussing your educational and research activities on observing the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere (thermosphere) by different space-borne observation techniques, including GNSS receivers and ultra-sensitive accelerometers. These instruments are carried by several satellites (e.g. CHAMP, GRACE, GOCE, GRACE Follow-on, and Swarm), which are operated by different space agencies (e.g. ESA, NASA and DLR). The associated research is of growing importance for risk assessment of spaceflight and space infrastructure (space debris, Space Weather, Space Situational Awareness).

You will be involved in, initiate and coordinate PhD and international research projects. You will have a state-of-the-art software and computer infrastructure at your disposal and closely cooperate with experienced staff members and PhD students in our section. You will present results at international project meetings and conferences and publish in high-quality journals.

Teaching responsibilities include contributing to the MSc curriculum of the Space Engineering department as well as supervising MSc and PhD students. Maintaining an independent research program in an international context and further developing a close relationship with space agencies and industry is highly encouraged.   

- A PhD in Aerospace Engineering or related field;

- At least several years of experience as a post-doc and experience in international research networks or consortia;

- Research experience in Astrodynamics and/or one or more of the following research fields: Earth’s thermosphere, Space Situational Awareness, Space weather;

- A good understanding of satellite missions and scientific data processing;

- A strong commitment to high quality teaching and research excellence;

- Good presentation and communication skills (English).  

Conditions of employment

Our Tenure Track system offers young, talented academics a clear and attractive career path leading to a permanent appointment with the prospect of becoming an Associate or full Professor. We offer a structured career and personal development program designed to offer individual academics as much support as possible. For more information about the Tenure Track and the personal development program, please visit

At the start of the tenure-track you will be appointed as Assistant Professor for the duration of six years. Section leader, department leaders and you will agree upon expected performance and (soft) skills. You will receive formal feedback on performance and skills during annual assessment meetings and the mid-term evaluation. If the performance and skills are evaluated positively at the end of the tenure track, you will be appointed in a permanent Assistant Professor position.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

TU Delft sets specific standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. TU Delft offers training to improve English competency.

Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. If you have less than five years of experience and do not yet have your teaching certificate, we allow you up to three years to obtain this.  

Information and application
For more information, please contact Prof. P.N.A.M. Visser, through phone: +31 (0)15-2782595 or e-mail:

To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV that includes a list of publications, contact information of at least three scientists whom we can contact for letters of recommendation, and a research and teaching statement along with a letter of application by 28 February 2019 to Relly van Wingaarden When applying please refer to vacancy number LR18.39.

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