Job Offers

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national research centre for Earth sciences in Germany. With 1280 employees, the GFZ is conducting interdisciplinary research on the “System Earth” and the influence of humans on the planet. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, it is part of Germany’s largest science organization.

For GFZ`s Section 1.2 “Global Geomonitoring and Gravity Field” in Department 1 “Geodesy” we invite applications for a

Scientist (m/f)
Reference No. 01/12/17 D

Section 1.2 routinely estimates various Earth system parameters which describe the Earth's geometrical and physical shape (ground station coordinates or gravity field spherical harmonic coefficients) and its orientation in space (Earth orientation parameters (EOP)) based on observations of satellite orbit dynamics which can be observed by various types of satellite tracking data such as Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) and other data. Typical satellites we analyze are Low Earth Orbiters such as GRACE, TerraSAR-X or TanDEM-X, the GNSS constellations or geodetic SLR satellites such as Lageos or Lares. The satellite orbit dynamics are driven by conservative (the gravity field) and non-conservative (the drag by the atmosphere, pressure by solar radiation, etc.) forces which are modeled and parameterized in our core Earth Parameter and Orbit System software package EPOS. By evaluating the observations in EPOS in a least squares sense, the parameters we are interested in can be inferred with high accuracy and at the same time highly accurate orbits can be determined. Keeping EPOS conform to the most recent international standards allows us to support the international IAG services ILRS (International Laser Ranging Service) and IDS (International Doris Service) by operating an Analysis Center and an Associate Analysis Center, respectively.


The successful candidate will be involved in GFZ’s activities in the following fields of work:

  • handling of the EPOS orbit computation module EPOS-OC and its periphery
  • development and implementation of new procedures and algorithms under LINUX and FORTRAN
  • development, maintenance, supervision, and service of operational systems for the provision of precise orbits and parameters describing system Earth
  • satellite geodesy applications in team relevant work
  • publication of scientific results on a regular basis in highly-ranked international journals
  • contribution to national and international cooperation in third party funded projects
  • acquisition of new third party funded projects
  • supervision of M.Sc. theses
  • preparation and presentation of results in project meetings, symposia, and in scientific journals
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Geodesy or related disciplines
  • experience in Satellite Geodesy
  • experience in Precise Orbit Determination
  • experience in estimation of Earth Orientation Parameters, station coordinates, gravity field parameters and the like from satellite data
  • experience in evaluating the space-geodetic observations SLR, DORIS, GNSS, VLBI, and other relevant observation types as altimetry heights and crossover differences, Doppler, angles etc.
  • experience in Least Squares adjustment (observation level) and linear algebra (normal equation level)
  • experience in LINUX operations and shell scripting, FORTRAN programming, and other computer languages
  • ability for independent working
  • ability for and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team and to communicate with external partners
  • good command of English language
  • empathy to do a PhD
  • readiness for business travels
Starting date as soon as possible
Fixed term based on available funding, initially limited to 2 years, with the option for extension
Salary EG 13 TVÖD-Bund (Tarifgebiet West)
Working hours full-time (currently 39 h/week)
The position is, in principle, suitable for part-time employment.
Location Oberpfaffenhofen

You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international work environment that is characterized by exciting research projects. The compatibility of work and family life is of particular concern to the GFZ. Therefore, it offers the opportunity for flexible working time and workplaces.

The GFZ is a partner with Geo.X (, and as such it is well connected with other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. Geo.X forms the largest regional cluster of geoscientific expertise in Europe and offers excellent opportunities for cooperation and development.

Please submit your application by 15. February 2017 quoting the reference no. 01/12/17 D via email to Please combine your application documents (letter of motivation, CV and certificates) into a single PDF file with a size of up to 3 megabytes.

Equal opportunity is an inherent part of our personnel policy. Therefore we are particularly welcoming applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons will be given preferential treatment in the case of equal qualification.

We will retain your application documents for at least three months, even if the application is not successful. They will not be returned.

If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to call Mrs Albrecht at +49 (0) 331-288-28878.

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Questions Regarding our Job Offers?

If you have any questions regarding our job offers, please call Mrs Albrecht at +49 (0) 331  288 28878 or send an email.