PhD position at RWTH Aachen (Germany): Neotectonics, GIS & Remote Sensing

RWTH Aachen University seeks, as soon as possible,
a geoscientist (f/m) with a background in neotectonics, GIS and Remote Sensing skills for a PhD position in the research project ALMOND („Albania and Montenegro Neotectonic Deformation“). This project is a collaboration between RWTH Aachen University and the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The Institute of Neotectonics and Natural Hazards is part of the Fachgruppe „Geosciences and Geography“ of the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering hosted at the RWTH Aachen University. We offer modern laboratories and have a wide range of equipment infrastructure. Our research focus is on earthquake geology and tsunami science in different settings throughout the world.

Main tasks

Neotectonic fieldwork in Montenegro and northern Albania, evaluation and interpretation of satellite images, tectonic geomorphology and earthquake geology. More information can be found in the attached project description or by contact with Prof. Reicherter.

Required qualifications

  • A graduate degree in geology/geosciences (MSc, Diploma or equivalent)
  • Profound knowledge in GIS and Remote Sensing, image processing (UAV, DInSAR, structure from motion)
  • Ability and willingness for fieldwork and team work with project partners in Jena and Berlin
  • Experience in neotectonic working methods
  • Driving license (category B)
  • English language fluency (proficiency in German would be advantageous)

The candidate is expected to work on a dissertation thesis on the project and to publish the results in international journals. There is also the possibility to assist in teaching. The salary depends on the regulations of the labour contracts for employees in the public service of the federal states (TVöD), commensurate to personal requirements up to 50% within TVöD EG13. Preferred starting date is 01.02.2016. The position is limited to 3 years.

RWTH Aachen University is certified as a family-friendly university and offers a dual career program for partner hiring. We particularly welcome and encourage applications from women, disabled people and ethnic minority groups, recognizing they are underrepresented across RWTH Aachen University. The principles of fair and open competition apply and appointments will be made on merit.

Closing date for applications is 31.12.2015, send your application via email to:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Klaus Reicherter
Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Neotektonik und Georisiken
RWTH Aachen University
Lochnerstr. 4-20
52056 Aachen
Email: or


Short project description „ALMOND“

The fold-and-thrust belt of the Dinarides-Hellenides on the Balkan Peninsula is a rare example of active continental subduction. Project Almond aims at studying its active tectonics in an area of transient kinematics between Montenegro and northern Albania. Several anomalous features characterize this area, such as (a) northward-diminishing seismic moment release, (b) northward disappearance of a continental lithospheric slab and (c) northward end of syn-collisional extension related to subduction rollback in the Aegean Sea. The study area hosted numerous historical earthquakes as well as one of the strongest instrumentally recorded earthquakes in Europe (Montenegro 1979, MW 7.1). GPS studies indicate convergence between Adria and Eurasia at rates of 4–5 mm yr-1. Long-term convergence rates, by contrast, remain unconstrained. Within the project part based in Aachen, we aim at characterizing the tectonic geomorphology and active tectonics of this transient kinematic behavior by remote sensing and field studies. The target area includes the orogen-perpendicular Skutari-Pec Fault, which delimits syn-collisional extension to the north. There will be close cooperation with the team at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena lead by Prof. Dr. Kamil Ustaszewski, including joint field work.

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