PhD position

The Potential of Earth Observation for Object Inventories

Starting date

1 December 2018

Duration of contract

3 years


According to the German TVöD 13

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

The DFD department “Land Surface Dynamics” quantifies global environmental change and analyses the drivers of processes of change.
The vacant PhD position has a methodological focus in the context of Data Science. In addition to the well-known satellite data archives of sensors such as the Sentinels and Landsat etc., it can be expected that archives of very high resolution sensors (Ikonos, Quickbird, Worldview, Planet) will increasingly be freely accessible. Considering that remote sensing will move into subject areas of "Object Inventories" (How many ships are in which port? How many oil tanks are there where? Where are containers piled? Where are there containers stacked? How are wind farms equipped? How many solar panels are located in an area? and all this automated and for large regions) the PhD project will focus on "The Potential of Earth Observation for Object Inventories" (working title). This addresses topics of GPU-based object extraction via KI/AI algorithms as well as the topic of Big EO Data Processing in the highest spatial resolution domain.

Research work covers the following areas:

  • development of methods and algorithms for automated extraction of objects from high- and very high resolution optical and multispectral remote sensing data archives, especially in coastal environments
  • answering socially relevant geoscientific questions in the field of object dynamics (temporal dynamics of objects, object inventories over time)
  • presentation/publication of results at conferences and in scientific journals

Starting date is, the earliest, December 2018 and, the latest, January 2019. Please send your application until 15 October 2018.

Your qualifications:

  • very good Master's degree in a geoscientific, information technology or mathematical-physical field with focus on object recognition
  • experience in the automated analysis of earth observation data or other extensive image data archives (photo databases etc.)
  • good programming skills in Python
  • LINUX knowledge, experience with bash scripting and parallelization
  • optimally, experience with machine learning frameworks (e.g. Tensor-Flow)
  • practical experience in working with remote sensing and geodata
  • strong team spirit and enjoying work in an international team
  • fluent English (spoken and written)

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

PD Dr. Claudia Künzer
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)

Phone: +49 8153 28-3280

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Juliane Huth
German Remote Sensing Data Center

Phone: +49 8153 28-3281

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Vacancy 25848

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)

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