The Institute of Geophysics of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, seeks to appoint a motivated PhD student 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 also be part of the project.

The successful applicant will work with Dr. Amir Khan and Prof. Domenico Giardini in the Seismology and Geodynamics group. The aim of this project is to infer bulk composition and thermal state of Mars and the Moon from inversion of geophysical data (mass, moment of inertia, tidal dissipation, and magnitude of tidal response) in combination with mineral phase-equilibrium computations and a rheological model that allows us to compute viscoelastic dissipation within Mars and the Moon. Adherence to a thermodynamic formulation that links material and rheological properties, thermo-chemical parameters, and geophysical observables, offers a means of integrating widely different data sets and serves to directly constrain the fundamental parameters of interest that allows us to improve our understanding of the formative processes of Mars and the terrestrial planets.

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 place 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. The project is situated broadly in the domain of computational geophysics, interfacing mineral physics, thermodynamics of mantle minerals, and viscoelastic modeling in the context of inversion of geophysical data to constrain models of Mars and the Moon’s internal structure, origin, and evolution.

We expect a candidate to:
- have a solid background in Physics and/or Math
- hold an MSc in Geophysics, Physics, or related
- 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 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 references

Review of applications will start soon and continue until the position is filled. We expect to start the position early 2015. Questions concerning the advertised position should also be directed to Dr. Amir Khan.

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: Vera Assis Fernandes

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