PhD Student

In experimental research on aerosol optics

Your tasks

Polarimetric measurements quantifying the angular distribution of light scattering by aerosol particles, i.e. the phase function, provide ample information on aerosol microphysical properties. The broader aim of this project is to bridge the gap between ground-based and remote sensing aerosol observations, which rely on polarimetry, by deploying a new laser imaging polar nephelometer for in-situ measurements of phase functions. Acquired data will also be used to assess aerosol property retrieval algorithms.

During this PhD you will:
  • Perform laboratory and field experiments to determine phase functions and aerosol physical properties of well constrained and more complex atmospheric aerosols
  • Adapt existing inversion codes to retrieve aerosol microphysical properties
  • Compare retrieval results against independent measurements to identify capabilities and limitations of different data inversion approaches
  • Collaborate with internal and external project team members for closure studies based on parallel in situ and remote sensing observations
  • Write and contribute to high quality peer-reviewed publications on aerosol polarimetry
  • The PhD degree will be received from ETH Zurich

Your profile

  • Master's degree in physics, environmental sciences/engineering, or closely related field
  • First experience in applied laboratory and / or field work
  • Interest in atmospheric processes combined with initiative and enthusiasm to conduct research in a multidisciplinary team
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Background in script based programming and data analysis techniques is advantageous

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

For further information, please contact Dr Martin Gysel Beer, phone +41 56 310 41 68. Email:

Please submit your application online by 20 February 2022(including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 5502-02).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Mariusz Prus, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland