PhD Position: Riming in Antarctic Precipitation

Laboratoire de Télédétection Environnementale (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

Precipitation (mostly solid) is a critical term in the surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet,but it remains poorly documented and understood. Mixed-phase clouds have been frequently observed over the coastal regions and also in the interior. The presence of supercooled liquid water droplets can lead to the riming of precipitating ice crystals and snowflakes. This PhD project aims to better understand how riming occurs over the Antarctic margins where precipitation is the largest, by means of ground-based radar observations of clouds and precipitation.

The main scientific objectives of the project are the following:

  • Contribution to field work in Antarctica (radar deployment, data processing and analysis).
  • Characterization of cloud properties (using a cloud profiler) at a coastal site and at a complex terrain site.
  • Characterization of the occurrence and intensity of riming at the same sites.

The project will be conducted at the Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory (LTE is the French acronym) of EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. Close collaboration with an on-going PhD project focusing on riming in mountainous regions is expected, as well as with other LTE collaborators.

The lab is looking for a creative and energetic PhD student to investigate the above-mentioned scientific questions, starting at the beginning of 2018. EPFL provides a stimulating international working environment, and a competitive salary (starting at 51’100 CHF/year). Review of the applications will continue until the position is filled.

Applicants should have a Master degree in Physics, Environmental Sciences/Engineering, or a closely related field, with a keen interest in radar meteorology. The project will involve field work in Antarctica, data processing/analysis, and programming skills are expected. Proficiency in spoken/written English is mandatory, knowledge of French or German would be an advantage. Applications should include a CV, a statement of research interests and qualifications, and contact details of three academic referees in electronic form.

Alexis Berne
Laboratoire de Télédétection Environnementale
Bât. GR, Station 2<
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland