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Temporary Researcher in Space Sensors and Systems

Deadline: 08.04.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

The University of Oslo (UiO) is expanding the activity at Campus Kjeller to strengthen our education, research, and innovation in technology for a sustainable future.

UiO is a well-ranked research university where the Department of Technology Systems at Kjeller (ITS) is focused on applied research in sustainable energy, autonomous systems, space, and security. At Kjeller, ITS is co-located with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) and the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), which both offer rich opportunities for collaboration.

ITS also has a range of interdisciplinary research collaborations that include the UiO Blindern Campus and Oslo Science City, as well as many other national and international institutions and industries.

ITS offers several master level programmes, alone and jointly with other departments: Renewable energy systems, Cybernetics and autonomous systems, Robotics and intelligent systems, and Information security. The newest master programme, Space Systems, started in Autumn 2023.

ITS also hosts the Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS), which incorporates operation of an instrument on the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars.

The department currently has 9 permanent scientific staff, approximately 35 adjunct staff from the research institutes at Kjeller and from industry, as well as about 20 PhD candidates.

This position is part of an ongoing expansion of the UiO activity at Campus Kjeller. Campus Kjeller is located 20 km northeast of Oslo, between the city center and Oslo Airport. It is a 20 minutes commute with public transportation from Oslo city center to the campus.

About the position

A temporary position as Researcher is available at the Department of Technology Systems (ITS) at University of Oslo (UiO).

The appointment is for a fulltime position for a period of one year, with a possible extension until a maximum of two years total.

The starting date is as soon as possible.

Job description/project description:

Deep space exploration and especially settling humans on extraterrestrial bodies, such as the Moon and Mars, depend among others on the capability to utilize locally available resources, such as water, oxygen, and methane. To identify, localize and characterize the quantity and quality of these resources, different sensors, both spaceborne and on ground are required.

To map resources several different technologies may be used.

ITS hosts the Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS), which incorporates operation of an instrument on the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars. One of the CENSSS activities focuses on neutron and gamma ray detection (GRND) to determine compositions of materials and search for water.

The main task of the researcher will be to derive new applications of the GRND on Earth or Earth orbit. This includes environmental analysis as well as support of the design adaption for a CubeSat and terrestrial rover deployment. Terrestrial deployment serves as a steppingstone for the GRND to other bodies.

The tasks include:

  • Elaborate a science case for the gamma-ray and neutron detector on the Moon, on Earth and on Earth orbit
  • Environmental modelling for detector optimization
  • Define, review, and analyse requirements for a GRND and/or ISRU instrument package for different applications
  • Background analysis in lunar orbit, Earth orbit and on Earth
  • Define data utilization strategy (data analysis)
  • Support the development and test of an instrument qualifiable for flight
  • Play an active role in preparing project proposals in the field of GRND and identifying new funding opportunities

Qualification requirements:

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe's leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Physics, electronics, cybernetics/control, aeronautical/astronautical or related fields. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and completed defence are eligible for appointment
  • Applicants must have experience in three or more of the topics:
    • Radiation detection (preferably gamma and/or neutrons)
    • Modelling and Monte-Carlo simulations (preferably GEANT4)
    • Detector, instrument and/or measurement setup design
    • Sensors for space systems, and/or signal processing thereof
    • Development of space data exploitation models
    • Planetary science
  • In addition, applicants must have programming skills in C, C++ and/or python
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • The research area for the position can include technologies or information referred to in the Ministry's export control regulations or the Norwegian National Security Act (Lov om Nasjonal Sikkerhet, a.k.a. “Sikkerhetsloven”), and the candidate must be eligible for a Norwegian security clearance.

Personal skills:

  • Ability to take initiative and come up with new ideas to solve theoretical and practical problems
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • Good personal communication skills

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications and experience, the suitability of the profile of the candidate for the project, as well as the candidate's motivation and personal suitability as assessed via interviews.

We offer:

  • Salary NOK minimum 624 500 - 720 100,- per annum depending on qualifications in position as Researcher (position code 1109)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Professionally stimulating working environment
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

The application must include:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records
  • A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations:

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact persons:

For further information about the position please contact:

  • Associate professor Anja Kohfeldt, e-mail: anja.kohfeldt@its.uio.no

For technical questions regarding the recruitment system please contact:

  • HR-adviser Olga Holmlund; e-mail: olga.holmlund@mn.uio.no

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