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The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,300 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.
For section 1.2 Global Geomonitoring and Gravity Field (department “Geodesy”), we are looking for a:

Head of SLR Station Potsdam (f_m_x)

Reference Number 6667

The primary research field of Section 1.2 within Department 1 "Geodesy" is the precise determination of the figure of the Earth, its static and time-varying gravity field and its position in space. For this purpose, we develop, operate and analyze various geodetic satellite missions including modern gravity field satellite missions such as GRACE-FO and also develop dedicated hardware and software for scientific satellite missions. To determine the precise orbits of these satellites and to contribute to the realization of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), we operate a station that performs absolute and very precise range measurements to a variety of spacecraft in low, medium, and high orbits. This SLR (Satellite Laser Ranging) station is part of the worldwide network of ground stations in the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS).

Your responsibilities:

  • Management of the operation and further development of the SLR station of GFZ Potsdam
  • Execution of development and measurement tasks in the field of satellite geodesy
  • Representation of the station in international committees of the ILRS
  • Technology transfer of individual new and ongoing developments in cooperation with local industrial partners such as DiGOS
  • Renewal of the SLR station for maintaining its observation capability and new future tasks in cooperation with local industrial partners
  • Collaboration in the planning, development and operation of various satellite missions by designing dedicated on-board instruments, in particular for the GFZ laser retroreflectors (LRR), but in parts also for GNSS receivers
  • For these tasks development, supervision of manufacturing and integration, measurement, verification, ground tests, documentation, delivery, mission support as well as quality management

Your qualifications:

  • Academic university degree in physics, aerospace engineering or similar required, Ph.D. desirable
  • Good knowledge of the principles of space geodesy measurement techniques
  • Experience in the operation of geodetic ground stations, ideally SLR stations, and satellite missions
  • Special knowledge in the field of solid state laser technology
  • Very good programming skills (e.g. bash, Python, C/C++)
  • Very good English language skills
  • Special knowledge in the field of laser safety (qualification as laser safety officer desired)
  • Willingness to work nights and weekends
  • Willingness to work in an interdisciplinary and international research environment with appropriate communication skills
  • High motivation and personal responsibility

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed-term: 3 years
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by  4th December 2022. Please use our online application form only.

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at]gfz-potsdam.de, who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]gfz-potsdam.de.

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Prof. Dr. Frank Flechtner either via email at frank.flechtner@gfz-potsdam.de or phone +49 (0)331-1130. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-288-28787.

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