Research Fellow in Fundamental Physics in Advanced Concepts Team, ESA

More info:  external link
Deadline:  2014-09-09

Location:  Noordwijk, Netherlands

Internal Research Fellow (Post-doc) in Fundamental Physics
ESA – European Space Agency
Noordwijk, Netherlands

The European Space Agency’s Advanced Concepts Team is looking for a highly motivated young researcher in the field of Fundamental Physics.

The Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) is a group of research fellows (post-docs) and young graduates who originate from a broad variety of academic fields and aim at an academic career. Its task is to monitor, perform and foster research on advanced space systems, innovative concepts and working methods. It interacts externally almost exclusively with academia and operates as a truly interdisciplinary team bound to high scientific standards. Via its research, the team acts as a cross-departmental pathfinder to explore novel, potentially promising areas for ESA and the space sector, ranging from applied to basic fundamental research topics. An important task of the team is to communicate scientific trends and results, as input to the strategic planning of the Agency.

The team has been active in the field of fundamental physics since 2004 with the overall objective to assess the impact of new ideas in physics on the space sector. The scope of its research spans from relativity (testing Einstein gravity,
 relativistic positioning systems, black hole physics,
non negligible relativistic effects, metamaterial design (optical, acoustic), quantum theories (entanglement and other quantum paradoxes, vacuum energy, Casimir effect) to advanced propulsion concepts.
Candidates are highly encouraged to get familiar with the research done in this field by the team as well as on the overall research of the ACT and the main activities lines of ESA.

The successful candidate will carry out research in the field of fundamental physics.
Areas of research are partly chosen by the successful candidate based on his/her own expert judgements and insight into trends and developments, partly chosen by the team as to follow strategic directions of the Agency.
Scientifically she/he will in particular:
Propose and perform research in the field of physics, where appropriate together with universities of ESA Member States (in particular through the Ariadna programme);
Assess and investigate concepts and effects, either current or foreseen, derived from novel theoretical or experimental discoveries in physics for their potential application and use in space systems;
Follow and monitor the progress of research in areas of physics of interest to the team in order to derive and report strategic trends;
Critically assess ideas and concepts for space systems relying on methods or phenomena of the area of fundamental physics that are brought to the attention of the ACT.

As ACT researcher, she/he will:
Publish results in peer-reviewed publications and use modern communication tools to communicate with broader audience inside and outside ESA;
Lead and assist interdisciplinary projects with other ACT Research Fellows and Young Graduate Trainees;
Participate together with the team in the assessment of proposed space system concepts – these not being restricted only to advanced energy systems – and propose new concepts and assessment studies; and
Perform and participate in assessments on subjects of strategic interest of ESA, provide in-house expertise to strategy development and ESA’s General Studies Programme.

Required academic qualifications:
a degree in physics, mathematics or equivalent;
PhD (completed before take up of duty) in Physics, subject of the thesis being relevant to the description of the tasks outlined above and aim at an academic/research career.
Additional Requirements:
interest in space science and technology;
ability for and interest in prospective interdisciplinary research;
aptitude to contextualise specialised areas of research and quickly assess their potential with respect to other domains and applications;
academic networking to add functioning links to universities and research institutes;
ability to work in a team, while being able to work individually and autonomously regarding his/her own personal research plans and directions;
natural curiosity and a passion for new subjects and research areas;
good methodological and organisation skills.
knowledge of English and/or French, the working languages of the Agency. A good proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

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