PhD Position in Experimental Cloud Physics on ice crystal growth induced by seeding

The Atmospheric Physics group at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC) invites applications for a 3-year to 3.5-year PhD position in Experimental Cloud Physics on ice crystal growth induced by seeding.


Date posted

May 11, 2021 12:00 am

Application deadline

July 11, 2021 12:00 am


Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC)


  • Switzerland

Job description

The Atmospheric Physics group at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC) invites applications for a 3-year to 3.5-year PhD position in Experimental Cloud Physics on ice crystal growth induced by seeding. Our research focuses on the role of aerosol particles and clouds in the climate system. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the cloud microphysical processes leading to precipitation in clouds involving ice.

Project background

The PhD project is part of the newly funded ERC project CloudLab that includes three PhDs and 2 PostDocs. Within CloudLab, ice nucleating particles from a drone will be injected into supercooled stratus clouds to investigate microphysical changes, including fundamental aspects of ice formation and growth. The project combines a multi-dimensional approach of targeted cloud seeding with a focus on wintertime stratus clouds in Switzerland. The microphysical changes induced by the seeding will be measured in-situ with a tethered balloon system and using ground-based remote sensing instrumentation. The analysis of the cloud seeding events will be used to validate and improve the cloud microphysics scheme in the Swiss weather forecast model and ultimately precipitation forecasts.

Job description

  • Participate in multiple field campaigns in the winter months, where stratus clouds over the Swiss Plateau are partially glaciated by glaciogenic seeding.
  • Measure the seeded patch with the holographic imager HOLIMO on the tethered balloon system HoloBalloon and analyze the sizes, habits, and concentration of the ice crystals.
  • Infer ice crystal growth due to diffusion, riming and aggregation from changes in the cloud particle size distribution.

Your profile

  • MSc (or equivalent) in atmospheric/environmental science, physics, engineering, or a related field.
  • Sound knowledge of the English language, both orally and written, is expected.
  • Field work experience with cloud measurements or holographic measurements is an advantage.
  • Motivation to work in the field in rough conditiosn (at night).
  • Good communication and time management skills, as well as a willingness to participate in a collaborative and supportive research environment.
  • Applications from members of underrepresented groups in academia are specifically encouraged.

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