Jobs

The operational direction Astronomy and Astrophysics (OD A&A) at the Royal Observatory of Belgium is looking for : 
 


 

SENIOR RESEARCHER in STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS

PDF-version of this anouncement

 


 

COLLABORATOR DIGIT PROJECT

PDF-version of this anouncement

 


 

SENIOR RESEARCHER IN STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS

CONTEXT:

The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) was founded in 1826 and is located in the municipality of Ukkel/Uccle (Brussels) since 1890. It is one of ten Federal Scientific Institutions with about a hundred and seventy employees, where research is carried out in four departments: reference systems and planetology, seismology and gravimetry, astronomy and astrophysics, and the Sun and space weather.
In the department astronomy and astrophysics there is a vacancy for a senior researcher.

The current activities of the about 10 scientists centre on various aspects related to stellar astrophysics. This includes the evolution and stellar winds around evolved (AGB, postAGB, planetary nebulae) and massive stars, the properties of double and multiple systems, the properties of several classes of variable stars (classical and Type-II Cepheids, Mira variables, β Cepheids, slowly pulsating B stars, δ Scuti, and γ Doradus stars), and local stellar distance indicators.

The department is actively involved in the Gaia DPAC consortium (related to the RVS instrument, the stellar parameterisation of emission line and hot stars, and the astrometry of Solar System bodies) and uses e.g. Kepler and TESS data for asteroseismic studies. Belgium is a member of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the European Space Agency (ESA). As part of the HERMES consortium there is privileged access to a spectrograph on the 1.2-m Mercator telescope on La Palma.
At a Belgian level there is the possibility of accessing the 4-m International Liquid Mirror Telescope and the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope both located in India. Although the research in the department focuses on observational astronomy there is also expertise in photoionization modelling (the code CLOUDY) and hydrodynamical simulations.
More information on the activities of the department can be found on the website https://aa.oma.be/.

The ROB is a research institute and therefore this position does not come with teaching duties. However, there are scientists at the ROB that choose to combine their research position with a formal part-time teaching appointment at a Belgian university, and this is welcomed by the institute. The ROB also has an internal funding scheme to support doctoral theses in collaboration with Belgian universities.

TASKS:
• Carry out independent research in the domain of stellar astrophysics that strengthens and/or complements the current activities of the group.
• Actively seek additional funding via national and/or international research programs.
• Participation in HERMES at MERCATOR observing runs.

WE ASK:
• A doctoral degree in astronomy or astrophysics with at least two and at most 10 years of post-doctoral experience in research.
• Good knowledge of the English language. Good oral and written communication skills. .
• Team player, but also able to work independently and showing initiative.

WE OFFER:
• A contract of indeterminate duration.
• Salary according to scales set by the federal government at the level of SW2.
• Free public transport from home to work, or bike compensation.
• Flexible working hours with a 38-hour work week (including the possibility of teleworking).
More information on working for the federal government (in Dutch and French) can be found on the site of FedWeb.

CANDIDACIES:
Send your cover letter, CV including publication list, and a research proposal of three pages (maximum) that describes your proposed research and interaction with the department over a five year period. Send this material in pdf format by e-mail to Martin Groenewegen (martin dot groenewegen at oma dot be) using “POSITION ASTRONOMY” as subject at the latest by November 15th, 2020. In your letter you must give the names and contact details of three persons who may be contacted regarding your professional experience.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Interviews may also be held by videoconference. Starting date is to be determined by mutual agreement.
For additional information about this position you can contact Martin Groenewegen.

 


 

COLLABORATOR DIGIT PROJECT

CONTEXT :

The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) is a Federal Scientific Institution (FSI) with about a hundred and seventy employees, located in the municipality of Ukkel/Uccle (Brussels), where research is carried out in four departments: reference systems and planetology, seismology and gravimetry, astronomy and astrophysics, and the Sun and space weather.

In 2004 the federal council of ministers decided to finance a programme to digitise the scientific and cultural hertitage of all FSIs. This ambitious digitisation programme is being financed by the Belgian Science Policy office (BELSPO), and the current phase, DIGIT-04, runs from 2019 to 2024.

Over the past years a small team of persons within the ROB have digitised a small number of collections, also in collaboration with other FSIs.

The largest collection managed by the ROB consists of several ten thousand photographic plates taken with several telescopes since the beginning of the 20th century, including those taken with the “Carte du Ciel”, the first large international collaboration in astronomy that aimed at mapping the entire sky. Also plates taken with ESO telescopes are managed by the ROB.

In order to digitise the photographic plates, the development of a plate measuring machine at ROB, called DAMIAN (Digital Access to Metric Images Archives Network), is in an advanced state. It is the intention to scan and manage this plate material. This implies adding relevant metadata, and making this material ready for scientific exploitation and publicly available.

In the department astronomy and astrophysics there is a vacancy in the digitisation project.
 

TASKS :
• Make DAMIAN operational.
• Organise the scanning of the astronomical photographic plates.
• Digitise other collections from the ROB, according to needs and priorities.
• Develop software or be involved in software development to operate DAMIAN and to make the material ready for scientific exploitation.
• In time, coordinate the digitisation project at the level of the ROB, represent the ROB to the outside world and act as an intermediary to BELSPO.

WE ASK :
• Engineer degree with a focus on optics and system engineering. Interest or experience in astronomy would be an asset. Alternatively, a master or doctoral degree in astronomy with a keen interest or some experience in optics and system engineering.
• Willingness to acquire in-depth knowledge in the operation of DAMIAN (xy table, lens, objective, camera). Knowledge of Visual Studio, C++ or similar languages would be an asset.
• Good knowledge of the English language. Knowledge of Dutch and/or French would be an asset, or the willingness to learn one of these languages.
• Teamplayer, but also able to work independently and showing initiative.

WE OFFER :
• A full-time contract as assistent (scale SW1) for a period of 12 months that can be extended.
• Salary according to scales set by the federal government.
• Free public transport from home to work, and/or bike compensation.
• Flexible working hours with a 38-hour working week.

More information on working for the federal government (in Dutch and French) can be found on the site of FedWeb.

CANDIDACIES :
Send your CV and cover letter by e-mail to Thierry Pauwels (thierry.pauwels @ oma.be) using DIGIT as subject at the latest by 30 October 2020. In your letter you must give the name and contact details of at least one person whom we can contact regarding your professional experience.
Candidates may be invited for an interview. The address of the ROB is Avenue Circulaire/Ringlaan 3, B-1180 Brussels. Interviews may also be held by videoconference. Starting date is to be determined in consultation.
For additional information about this project and position you can contact Thierry Pauwels (thierry.pauwels @ oma.be).