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Eine blaueingefärbte Taste mit der Aufschrift SERVICE, Foto: Colourbox
Servicebreich. Foto: Colourbox

Job Offers

Working group: Remote sensing and Arctic Climate

Postdoctroral Position (m/f/d):  Using inverse retrievals for quantifying riming and secondary ice production processes from spectral, polarimetric cloud radar measurements

Vacany from 13/12/2021

Position and project description

In mid-latitudes, most precipitation is generated through the ice phase in mixed-phase clouds, but the exact pathways through which ice, liquid water, cloud dynamics, orographic forcing, and aerosol particles are interacting during ice, snow and rain formation are not well understood. This is particularly true for riming and secondary ice production (SIP) processes that are likely related to the largest uncertainties with respect to quantitative snowfall formation. Filling the gaps in our understanding of SIP and riming is especially crucial for mountainous regions that are particularly vulnerable to changes in precipitation and the water budget such as the ratio between rain and snowfall. CORSIPP (Characterization of orography-influenced riming and secondary ice production and their effects on precipitation rates using radar polarimetry and Doppler spectra) is a research project dedicated to understanding riming and SIP processes in complex terrain. For this, we will operate an innovative simultaneous- transmission-simultaneous-reception (STSR) scanning W-band cloud radar together with a novel in situ snowfall camera for one entire winter season in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as part of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL) campaign. The Postdoc will be responsible for extending the Passive and Active Microwave radiative TRAnsfer model (PAMTRA) with additional polarimetric variables and state of the art scattering capabilities. Further, the Postdoc will support deploying a novel optical snowfall instrument and develop an advanced Bayesian inverse retrieval based on spectral, polarimetric measurements for quantifying riming and SIP processes. The position is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) Priority Program “Fusion of Radar Polarimetry and Numerical Atmospheric Modelling Towards an Improved Understanding of Cloud and Precipitation Processes”.

Terms of employment

The full time position (100% of the TV-L E13 pay scale of the German public sector) is awarded for 3 years and should be filled by April 1st 2022. We offer a productive and interdisciplinary work environment including comprehensive supervision.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants should have a PhD in Meteorology, Physics or a related field. We expect strong interest in atmospheric science, in particular in cloud physics, remote sensing, radar forward operators, microwave single particle scattering properties, and inverse retrieval methods.
  • Previous experience with these subjects would be highly advantageous for the position. Experience in high-level scientific programming for data analysis e.g., with Python is required.
  • Candidates must possess excellent communication skills in written and spoken English and should participate in the field campaign in Colorado for several weeks.


Interested candidates should send applications including a motivation letter, a CV, PhD, certificates, other qualifications and the contact information of two referees as a single PDF to Dr. Maximilian Maahn
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, the review of applications starts January 14th, 2022.


The selection for the position will be based solely on scientific merit without regard to gender, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital or family status or other differences. Among equally qualified candidates, handicapped candidates will be given preference.

Privacy information

If you choose to apply and send us your documents, you do so voluntarily. Any personal data contained within your application documents, or obtained during an interview, will be processed by Leipzig University – as the advertiser of the position – exclusively for the purposes of the selection process for the position advertised. It will not be passed on to third parties without your consent in the individual case. The legal basis for such data processing is Sect. 11(1) of the Saxon Data Protection Implementation Act (SächsDSDG) in conjunction with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The controller for the application process within the meaning of the GDPR is the addressee of the application, specified in the advertisement.

Your personal data will be stored for six months after the end of the recruitment process and then erased or destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations. You may refuse or withdraw your consent with effect for the future without giving reasons. In these cases, Leipzig University will not or no longer be able to process and consider your application. Under the GDPR, subject to the relevant statutory requirements you have the following rights vis-à-vis the addressee of the application with regard to your personal data: right of access (Art. 15 GDPR); right to rectification of inaccurate personal data (Art. 16 GDPR); right to erasure (Art. 17 GDPR); right to restriction of processing (Art. 18 GDPR); and right to object to processing (Art. 21 GDPR). If you have any questions, please contact the Data Protection Officer at Leipzig University (office: Augustusplatz 10, 04109 Leipzig). You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Saxon Commissioner for Data Protection.

Working group: Remote sensing and Arctic Climate

Postdoctoral position in the field of atmospheric radar remote-sensing, image processing and biodiversity research (m/f/d)

Founded in 1409, Leipzig University (UL) is one of Germany’s largest universities and a leader in research and medical training. With around 30,000 students and more than 5000 members of staff across 14 faculties, it is at the heart of the vibrant and outward-looking city of Leipzig. Leipzig is a vibrant hotspot for creativity in central Germany, known for its world-class research in atmospheric science, remote sensing, and biodiversity research.
The Leipzig Institute for Meteorology (LIM) at the Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences seeks to fill the above position at the earliest opportunity.

Terms of employment

  • • Fixed term of 3 years
  • • 100 % of a full-time position
  • • Planned remuneration: salary group E13 TV-L


  • Independent research as part of an interdisciplinary team in the atmospheric remote sensing group of LIM and in collaboration with colleagues in meteorology and biodiversity science
  • Development of techniques to retrieve insect number concentration and insect taxonomical types from 3D video sensor observations
  • Development of scattering data base of insects based on 3D insect models to simulate insect radar returns
  • Analysis of cloud radar data for identification of insects
  • Write high-quality research articles for high-impact journals, book chapters, and reviews
  • Present scientific results at conferences
  • Provide academic supervision for research students


  • PhD in data science, atmospheric science, (radar) engineering, or a related topic

  • Interest in interdisciplinary collaboration (specifically meteorology and biodiversity science)

  • Very good command of data analysis and programming languages (e.g., Python, Matlab)

  • Excellent English language skills

  • Experience in at least one of the following would be advantageous:

    • Meteorological radar applications

    • Discrete dipole approximation (DDA) scattering calculations

    • Image processing

The position is open until filled. Specific questions should be addressed to Jun-Prof. Heike Kalesse-Los.

Please send your application with the usual documents (CV, list of publications, certificates, motivation letter, contact information of two referees) as a single PDF file to Jun-Prof. Heike Kalesse-Los. Please note that it is not possible to guarantee confidentiality when communicating by unencrypted email. We kindly request that you submit copies only, as we are unable to return application documents.

The selection for the position will be based solely on scientific merit without regard to gender, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital or family status or other differences. Among equally qualified candidates, handicapped candidates will be given preference.

Frequently asked questions

Students/Guest auditors

On this page you will find the answers to frequently asked questions and the explanation of important terms from the application to the completion of your studies.

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  • As a guest auditor, you can attend courses at our institute without obtaining a degree.
  • Auditing as a guest is available for all who wish to continue studying individually before, during or after their professional career.
  • Audtiting as a guest is also possible without a university entrance qualification.
  • Find out more on the university's web pages about how you can become a guest student at our university and which offers are available to you.

Weather and climate

Leipzig Instrumentation

The measuring equipment is located on the premises of the Leipzig Institute for Meteorology (51°33'33.N, 12°38'88.E) on a meadow behind the institute building and on the institute's tower.

Collm Instrumentation

The Collm Observatory is located at the northern base of Collm in the forest. The measuring equipment is located on the tower of the institute building (51°30'44.N, 13°00'27.E) above the tree line.

The weather data is free for use.

The weather data is gatherd exclusively for educational purposes and are not an alternative or substitute for the official data of the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Weather Service). Furthermore, no guarantee can be given for the accuracy and completeness of the data.

The mesosphere/lower thermosphere (MLT) is one of the most scientifically challenging regions of the atmosphere. The MLT is the region where wave-wave and wave-mean flow interactions lead to a mean circulation regime that is extremely far from radiative equilibrium. Although radar measurements of MLT winds have been possible for more than half a century, our current knowledge on MLT dynamics is still far from complete, mostly due to incomplete coverage of the global wind field by ground-based remote sensing system.

As a contribution to our knowledge of MLT dynamics a SKiYMET meteor radar has been continuously operated at Collm Observatory (51.3°N, 13°E) since August 2004. The measurements deliver hourly wind information for the height range between 80-100 km and daily mean temperatures near the mesopause. Together with the earlier LF wind measurements peformed at Collm from 1959 - 2008 a unique MLT circulation parameter dataset is available.

All data are to be considered preliminary. They are only for information purposes and must be validated by the responsible authority before us!

Data of the SKiyMet meteor radar

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