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The Chair of Physical Geodesy of the Faculty of Earth Sciences is looking for a 

PhD student (m,f,x) for 3 years with 29,8725 hours per week (TVL E13)

We are looking for a PhD candidate on the research topic: Increasing spatial and temporal resolution of megathrust seismotectonics with natural and laboratory data. This research will take place under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Bedford and is part of the ERC Starting Grant project, TectoVision.

In earthquake science, the continued densification of GNSS (“GPS”) and seismic data has gradually enabled finer characterisation of plate interface processes, such as slow-slip, tremor, seismic clustering, foreshocks/foreslip, and afterslip. The community is now at the stage in which we have tectonic regions of interest where such processes can be observed on the sub-daily sampling and spatial resolution of 10s of kilometres. The aim of this PhD research project is to push the state-of-the-art resolution of plate-interface kinematics using an exceptionally dense GNSS and seismic network data from north-central Chile and from a laboratory analog subduction zone with high rate cameras and accelerometers.

extent: part-time
duration: temporary
beginning: as soon as possible
application dateline: 08/07/2022

Your tasks:

  • You will first conduct analog subduction experiments to generate large datasets from cameras and accelerometers
  • These data will be analysed to produce a high spatial-temporal resolution analysis of plate interface kinematics
  • Data from the natural subduction setting in Chile will similarly be analysed.
  • In addition to exploring the main spatiotemporal features of these datasets, you will also test forecastability of kinematics and/or seismicity using machine learning algorithms
  • Accordingly, you will have access to the necessary hardware (GPUs, clusters) for you to get your hands dirty with large datasets and powerful algorithms
  • There is also the option to do fieldwork in Greece (installing new GNSS stations)
  • The position includes 2 international conference trips: 1 EGU and 1 AGU (funding for in-person attendance)

Your profile:

  • Some scientific programming experience (e.g. using one or more of Matlab/Octave, Python, Julia, R, or similar)
  • Time series analysis (experience working with such data or theory from classes)
  • Linear algebra (matrices, vectors, etc)
  • Some knowledge/experience of how machine learning works
  • Some knowledge about earthquake processes and tectonics

Our offerings:

  • Support from and cooperation with competent colleagues
  • Team-oriented cooperation in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • a friendly and collegial environment
  • a modern equipped workplace
  • an open working atmosphere

Additional information:

If the position is funded by third-party funds the employee has no teaching obligation.

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of Germany’s leading research universities, addressing the whole range of academic disciplines. A highly dynamic setting enables researchers and students to work across the traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. To create knowledge networks within and beyond the university is RUB’s declared aim.


The Ruhr-Universität Bochum stands for diversity and equal opportunities. For this reason, we favour a working environment composed of heterogeneous teams, and seek to promote the careers of individuals who are underrepresented in our respective professional areas. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum expressly requests job applications from women. In areas in which they are underrepresented they will be given preference in the case of equivalent qualifications with male candidates. Applications from individuals with disabilities are most welcome.

Contact details for your application:

Herr Bedford, Phone: +49234 32 23252

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

For information on the collection of personal data in the application process see: https://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/en/information-collection-personal-data-application-process.

We are looking forward to receiving your application with the specification ANR: 690 until 08/07/2022. Please send a CV, cover letter and a maximum of 2 references via e-mail to the following address: jonathan.bedford@rub.de

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