The Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany is seeking applications from highly-qualified and motivated candidates for a position developing photonic fiber technology for high spatial resolution spectroscopy. The position is envisaged to start in spring/early summer 2023 upon negotiation and is initially funded for a duration of 3 years.
The MPIA is one of the leading astronomical research institutes worldwide. It develops instrumentation for ground-based telescopes as well as for space missions. Further information about the institute’s instrumentation program can be found here: www.mpia.de/institute/research-and-development/telescopes-and-instruments.
The position is offered within the DFG-funded collaborative NAIR project (“novel astronomical instrumentation through photonic reformatting”), a collaboration between the MPIA, University of Cologne, and the Leibniz-Institut-for-Astrophysics-Potsdam. The successful candidate will lead the astrophotonics technology program at MPIA, with the concrete goal of producing a fiber link to be tested at the MagAO-X adaptive optics system in Chile. This fiber link will build on the prior work of the group and is envisaged as a pathfinder for the integral field unit of the Planetary Camera System at the Extremely Large Telescope.
The successful candidate will work with the NAIR partners, an international partners / institutes in EU, UK and the US and be responsible for all aspects of the fiber link, from simulation to leading on sky experimentation. Simulation, in-lab and on sky measurements, reporting and data publishing will be a significant part of the work. Depending on their profile, the successful candidate is encouraged to pursue astrophysical research using the data that they collect. During their time, the candidate will also use the NAIR collaboration to pursue other aspects of astrophotonics, including development of micro-dispersion technologies and testing of photonic devices at new wavelengths.
Beyond the NAIR context of this position, the successful candidate may be interested in and is invited to gain practical ELT instrumentation experience via joining MPIA’s ELT MICADO instrumentation program lead by Jörg-Uwe Pott. The MICADO hardware is designed, and the integration and testing phase of the photonics components will start in 2023. MPIA’s MICADO team is embedded in our experienced technical department covering all disciplines in astronomical infrared instrumentation. While the position focus is on the outlined creative engineering tasks in the NAIR context, the candidate is supported, but not required to actively participate in astronomical research in line with our department interests. Please check our websites, and contact relevant staff directly regarding our current lines of research: www.mpia.de
- Simulation and design of the fiber link and associated technologies
- Fiber link manufacturing, assembly and in-lab testing
- Fiber integration at MagAO-X in Chile
- On-sky testing
- Results analysis and dissemination in journal and conference papers and international conferences
- Collaborative testing other of novel aspects of astrophotonics
- A PhD degree in engineering, physics, astronomy or equivalent qualification
- Good working knowledge of spoken and written English
- Ability to work in an interdisciplinary international team
- Willingness to work abroad for limited periods (few weeks) to install and commission astronomical instruments and to participate in consortium meetings within Germany
- Critical, open-minded and professional attitude
One or more of the following
- Experience with the OpticStudio optical design or photonic simulation software
- Knowledge of optics and measurement techniques
- Experience with a scripting language (preferably Python, Matlab or equivalent)
- On-sky testing experience
- Experience working with fibers
- Ability to supervise students
We offer a very challenging and rewarding international field of work with state-of-the-art technology. The remuneration is based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) up to level TVOeD level 14 depending on qualification and experience. Extensive social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service.
The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and strives for a diverse community of employees. Applications from historically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups are particularly encouraged. MPIA supports its employees in their search for suitable child care. For questions concerning promoting equal opportunity for all employees and prospective employees at MPIA, please contact our equal opportunity officers ([email protected]). Regarding disability guidelines and regulations, please contact Ralf Launhardt ([email protected]).
Your application materials should contain: a cover letter (detailing how you fit with the listed job requirements and motivation), a CV (max three pages), a summary of your job-related skills, university certificates, and the names and addresses of three referees who can be contacted for references. Please merge all documents into one PDF.
All applications need to be emailed no later than the 27th January directly to Robert Harris at [email protected].
For further information on the position, please contact: Robert Harris at: e-mail: [email protected] and Jörg-Uwe Pott at: jpott<at>mpia.de