Postdoctoral position in adaptive optics / optical interferometry

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job

Scientist

Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job Code: 10/2020

Job offer from March 17, 2020

The Infrared Group of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching (near Munich), Germany is one of the world's leading institutes for the development of pioneering ground- and space-based astronomical instruments. We are the PI institute for GRAVITY, an ESO VLTI instrument for precision astrometry and interferometric imaging of faint objects, now in regular science operations and producing breakthrough results. We are embarking on the next major upgrade for this system, GRAVITY+. We are also leading ERIS, a new diffraction-limited imaging and spectroscopic facility for the VLT, and are the PI institute for MICADO, a first-light instrument for the European ELT. These instruments support our astrophysical research program that focusses on galaxy evolution in the early universe, local active galaxies, and the Galactic Center.

The position

We seek highly motivated candidates to work with us on GRAVITY+ to take near-infrared interferometry at the VLTI to the next level of faint science, all sky, high contrast, milli-arcsecond interferometric imaging. The GRAVITY+ project aims at dramatic improvements of depth and sky coverage by combining upgrades to the instrument proper with wide field dual beam capability and state of the art natural and laser guide star adaptive optics at all four 8m VLTs.

Tasks will include design, testing and optimization of GRAVITY+ and its sub-systems, acceptance of sub-systems developed by consortium partners, participation in the integration and testing in Garching and at Paranal, and analysis of test and calibration data.

Your profile

Applicants should have a PhD in physics or a related field before starting. They will be working as part of an international multi-disciplinary team, and will be supported by optics, mechanics, and electronics engineers in MPE‘s Central Divisions. As such, good interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills are essential. Experience, including use of relevant software and hardware tools, is required in at least some of:

  • Adaptive optics and/or optical interferometry,
  • Development of optical/near-infrared instrumentation,
  • Assembly, integration, test, and verification of optical systems,
  • Data analysis and programming skills,
  • Writing and reviewing documentation.

A successful candidate is encouraged to actively participate in astrophysical research with GRAVITY, in particular Galactic Center research and Active Galactic Nuclei.

Our offer

The position is for a nominal period of 3 years, starting immediately or at a mutually agreed time. Salaries are paid according to German civil service rates (TVöD) depending on experience.

For enquiries about the position please contact Dr. Frank Eisenhauer ( ).

Your application

For full consideration, please send a letter of application, a brief description of your relevant background and future outlook (including research interests where relevant), a curriculum vitae including bibliography, and three letters of reference by May 15, 2020 to .

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

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