Satellite Lidar scientist

Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

  • Stand­plaats De Bilt
  • Contractduur 3 years
  • Uren per week 36
  • Maand­salaris €3.608 - €5.503
  • Niveau Master/doctoraal
  • Vakgebied Onderzoek / wetenschap
  • Reageren voor 31 mei Nog 2 dagen
  • Vacaturenummer KNMI 2023-58
  • Plaatsingsdatum 10 mei 2023
  • Dienst­verband Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd


KNMI in De Bilt is looking for a satellite Lidar scientist. In this position you will be responsible for creating algorithms for ground processing software, verification and validation of measurements, signal and retrieval calibrations, and reprocessing of historical data in the setting of an international team. Do you want to be the satellite Lidar Scientist at an exceptional institute where science, technology and services come together? Then make this vacancy your new job and apply immediately.

Your job as a satellite Lidar Scientist
To better understand and predict weather and climate, it is essential to have high-quality measurements of atmospheric dynamics. Important parameters related to this are wind, clouds, aerosols and radiation, and for each of these a measurement system with high accuracy, global coverage and high temporal resolution is still lacking.

For this reason KNMI has been involved for many years in the European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Explorer satellite missions Aeolus (launched in 2018) and EarthCARE (to be launched in 2024). These satellites contain active observing systems using radar and lidar measurements, and provide the opportunity to study and improve new measurement techniques. In addition, KNMI is involved in the preparations for an Aeolus follow-on mission.
KNMI is contributing to this by creating (algorithms for) ground processing software, simulating new instrument concepts, verification and validation of measurements, signal and retrieval calibrations, and reprocessing of historic data, in collaboration with other European and Canadian partners. Hence, the tasks and priorities of the work are determined and planned by regular discussions with ESA and the international partners. A particular task that we envisage for this position is to better integrate the optical and wind processing for Aeolus.

At KNMI an open post-doc position for three years is available to help us achieve these tasks. The work will be done in the KNMI Satellite Observations department, which provides a unique opportunity to work together with many specialists working on active and passive satellite remote sensing systems.

Further background information may be obtained through:

Profile of the satellite Lidar scientist
As a PhD you graduated in physics, oceanography, meteorology, mathematics, or equivalent. We value your experience obtained in the fields of applied research or statistical and numerical analysis. Knowledge of Linux/Unix operating systems, scripting computer languages such as bash and programming languages such as Fortran, C++ or Python, or willingness to acquire this is vital. Interest in remote sensing, oceanography or meteorology is a clear bonus. You have an analytical and independent mind, but also enjoy working in a team. Good communication skills, both verbally and written, in the English language is required, because of the international aspect of the work.

  • Salaris­niveau schaal 11
  • Maand­salaris Min €3.608 Max. €5.503 (bruto)
  • Dienst­verband Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
  • Contract­duur 3 years
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week 36

Other conditions of employement

In addition to the salary and holiday pay an end-of-year payment can be expected, the so-called 13th month. The national government strongly adheres to personal growth and carreer development and offers several possibilities to facilitate this. The terms of employment include amongst others a maximum 55% paid parental leave  (conditions apply), facilities to study, additional arrangements for leave for elderly and a refund for commuter traffic. The national government offers possibilities for a number of individual choices in shaping the total package of terms of employement.

  • You can apply for this position until 30 May 2023;
  • Start date: 1 June/July 2023 when feasible with a duration of three (3) years;
  • Obtaining references is part of the application process. An (online) pre-selection test, an assessment, making a case and (online) screening via databases, among others, can be part of the application process;
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Meer over jouw toekomstige afdeling

The Research and Development Satellite Observations (RDSW) department of the KNMI (the Netherlands) contributes to weather and climate research and monitoring of the Earth system by using satellite measurements. Its main research objectives are climate research, atmospheric dynamics, clouds, air quality and stratospheric ozone. The satellite activities of the department encompass the entire range from collecting user requirements, developing instrument concepts, generating the required satellite products, to atmospheric research using the satellite data. KNMI is part of several science advisory teams for innovative and exploratory ESA satellite missions . More information on the department can be found at:

Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

The weather is temperamental, the ground moves and the climate changes. For our safety and prosperity, we need to know what risks and opportunities this brings. And: how we can best prepare ourselves. The Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is the national knowledge and data center for weather, climate and seismology. Reliable, independent and focused on what the Netherlands needs. For a safe Netherlands that is prepared for the impact of weather, climate and earthquakes.

We use our core values - Development, Cooperation and Relevance - to achieve our ambition, both within and outside KNMI, nationally and internationally. We develop our knowledge and expertise and work together to create a single KNMI that makes a difference to society!

Talent as the basis, diversity as the strength
The KNMI is an inclusive organization. An organization that provides space for everyone and uses the strength of its diverse workforce to achieve better results together for the Netherlands. Inclusive means that everyone feels involved and valued; not in spite of their differences, but thanks to them.

Organisationally, KNMI falls under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) is committed to a safe, accessible and liveable Netherlands. That is why the Ministry is working on powerful connections by road, rail, water and air. And IenW protects against flooding, ensures the quality of air, water and soil and the realization of a circular economy.


Voor meer informatie over deze vacature:

Ad Stoffelen, team leader

+31 6 2240 9813

Voor meer informatie over de sollicitatieprocedure:

Edith Gerritsen-Rijlaarsdam, advisor recruitment

+31 6 5749 9672


Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) nodigt je uit op hun site te solliciteren. Via onderstaande knop verlaat je deze site ga je direct naar het sollicitatieformulier. Het Rijk hecht waarde aan een diverse en inclusieve organisatie. Werken in divers samengestelde teams maakt ons effectiever, innovatiever en het werk leuker. Eenieder wordt daarom uitgenodigd te solliciteren.

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