Postdoctoral researcher or Research Fellow in Very Long Baseline Interferometry Aalto University, Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering Finland

Postdoctoral researcher or Research Fellow in Very Long Baseline Interferometry



Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.

The School of Electrical Engineering is one of the six schools of Aalto University. Our portfolio covers fields from natural sciences to engineering and information sciences. In parallel with basic research, we develop ideas and technologies further into innovations and services. We are experts in systems science; we develop integrated solutions from care of the elderly to space robotics. The School is an international unit with close to 60 professors and 2 000 full-time students, including over 200 doctoral students.


Aalto University radio astronomy group (Metsähovi Radio Observatory & Dept. of Electronics and Nanoengineering) is looking for a   


Postdoctoral researcher or research fellow in very long baseline interferometry


to join the Academy of Finland –funded, interdisciplinary NT-VGOS (Novel Techniques for the VLBI Global Observing System) research project, which is a joint effort of the Aalto University and the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute of the National Land Survey. The project brings together radio astronomers and geodesists with an aim to enable new levels of accuracy in global geodetic reference frames that meet the future needs of monitoring global changes.  


The international geodetic community is currently building the next generation global VLBI network VGOS (VLBI Global Observing System) that aims to achieve millimetre-level accuracy in determining station positions. In order to achieve this goal, it will be necessary to develop novel analysis methods that take into account previously ignored systematic error sources. NT-VGOS project specifically studies how the non-pointlike, time and frequency variable radio structure of distant quasars, which are used as reference points in geodetic VLBI, will affect the VGOS measurements and how these systematics are best mitigated.



You will be a key member in the NT-VGOS project that operates in the interface between the astronomical and geodetic very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). You will participate in developing imaging capability for the VGOS network in order to make corrections for the source structure effects possible. You will develop and lead a program to measure the frequency dependency of the astrometric positions of quasar cores. These “core-shifts” need to be taken into account in the wideband VGOS measurements, but they also provide important astrophysical information about the central engines of quasars. Furthermore, you are encouraged to pursue also research topics of your own choice, presumed that they align with the work done in the radio astronomy group.



Together the radio astronomy group and the staff of the Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory form a vibrant research community of about 15 people that has a strong focus on radio and multi-wavelength studies of active galactic nuclei and on very long baseline interferometry. The VLBI research is led by Dr. Tuomas Savolainen and the group is active in several major international research programs, including the Event Horizon Telescope (mm-VLBI), the RadioAstron satellite (space-VLBI), and the MOJAVE monitoring program of active galactic nuclei jets.   


The group has an access to excellent local facilities, as Metsähovi operates a 14-meter radio telescope in Kirkkonummi, about 35 km from the main campus. The telescope is used for both single-dish observations at cm-to-mm-wavelengths and as a part of international VLBI-networks, such as the European VLBI Network, Global mm-VLBI Array, and International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry. Furthermore, the Metsähovi Radio Observatory shares its radio-quiet site with the Geodetic Research Station of the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, which is currently commissioning a next generation VGOS-compatible radio telescope for geodetic VLBI observations.



The position will be initially filled for two years with a possible extension up to three years, contingent upon satisfactory performance. The starting salary depends on the experience and qualifications, being ~3500€/month for an appointment at the postdoctoral researcher level. The contract includes a paid annual leave, occupational health care coverage and social security benefits. Support for participation in conferences and research visits is available. The starting date is negotiable, but we expect the candidate to be able to start by the autumn 2019.



  • PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, geodesy, or other relevant field

  • Strong background in radio interferometry, preferably in very long baseline interferometry

  • A track record of scientific publications in high-quality peer reviewed journals

  • Good communication skills in English

Experience either in astrometric/geodetic VLBI or in studies of active galactic nuclei jets is considered an advantage.



Please apply online through "Apply for this job" link below and include the following attachments:

  • Application cover letter

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • List of publications

  • Short research statement (max 4 pages)


Furthermore, candidates should arrange for two letters of reference to be sent directly to isabella.itapalo (a) Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree by the starting date.


The call is open until April 30, 2019, but we will start reviewing and interviewing candidates immediately. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.



For additional information, please contact Dr. Tuomas Savolainen (tuomas.k.savolainen (a), or in recruitment process related questions HR Secretary Isabella Itäpalo (isabella.itapalo (a)



The Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering is located at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. Metsähovi Radio Observatory is located in a protected radio quiet zone in Kirkkonummi, about 35 km from the Otaniemi campus. As a living and work environment, Finland consistently ranks high in quality-of-life. For more information about living in Finland please visit our information pages for international staff.

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