Blue Flower

PhD Position in Planetary Seismology and Geodynamics



The Institute of Geophysics of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, seeks to appoint a motivated PhD candidate to work on the interior structure of Mars and the Moon using geophysical data. Investigating the seismic response of Mars in anticipation of the upcoming Mars Insight mission will form a core part of the project. The successful applicant will work with Dr. Amir Khan and Prof. Domenico Giardini in the Seismology and Geodynamics group.


More specifically, the aim of this project is to use present-day geophysical data to constrain a set of interior-structure models of Mars that will form the basis for computing the seismic response of Mars at the local, regional, and global scale. This will include waveform modeling, computing body- and surface-wave arrivals, dispersion characteristics, normal modes, receiver functions, attenuation structure, and tidal response.


The project is situated broadly in the domain of seismology and computational geophysics with the purpose of inverting geophysical data to constrain models of Mars and the Moon's internal structure, and ultimately, origin, and evolution. For this purpose the large-scale geodynamical, geochemical, and petrological implications will be studied. This part of the project will be undertaken in collaboration with researchers in other groups in the Institute (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Earth and Planetary Magnetism) and in the Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology at ETH.


This project comes in a timely fashion in preparation for the upcoming NASA-lead Mars InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission to be launched in March 2016 that will emplace a seismometer and a heat-flow probe on Mars. In this context mantle models obtained here will serve as input in the science preparation phase.


We expect a candidate to:


have a solid background in Physics and/or Maths.

hold an MSc in Geophysics, Physics, or a related subject;

have experience in programming (e.g., Fortran, Matlab);

be proficient in written and spoken English;

be motivated to work in an international and interdisciplinary team.

The Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich offers excellent working conditions in a highly stimulating environment. The salary is very competitive and Zurich offers very high quality of living.


Complete applications should be sent by e-mail to Dr. Amir Khan (Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.) and should include the following: 1) Cover letter; 2) Curriculum vitae; 3) Complete course grades and transcripts; 4) Digital copy of MSc thesis; 5) Names and addresses of two referees. Review of applications will start soon and continue until the position is filled. Questions concerning the advertised position should also be directed to Dr. Amir Khan.


Please quoite 'Phd position in Planetary Seismology and Geodynamics' in the subject of any email correspondence concerning this position.