PhD in sensing technologies for seismic observation, at joint European programme - SPIN-ITN (MSCA)

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Tags: Physics | MSCA | ITN | PhD | sensing technologies

The overarching goal of the SPIN network is to advance seismic observation, theory and hazard assessment alike by:

1) fully integrating the latest ground-motion sensing technology. We will develop survey designs that optimise this novel technology to improve the monitoring of geohazards. In SPIN, we devise laboratory experiments to test new physical models of wave propagation that include the complex response of Earth materials to stress, and perform numerical simulations to predict their effects across scales in the real Earth. We apply the new models of wave propagation, and the field observations from novel sensor types, to detect and exploit time-dependent material changes to improve forecasting of real emerging natural hazards.

2) creating a fertile environment to train a new generation of unique European researchers who can incorporate new sensor types into widespread, societally-relevant applications. In SPIN, we will educate broad and versatile researchers – in fundamental theory, the forefront of ground motion sensing technology, in monitoring system design, and in the interpretation and mitigation of natural hazards.

SPIN will, for the first time, focus on training 15 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) in emerging measurement technologies, and the design of monitoring systems for precursory changes in material properties, all while optimizing observation strategies. The unique interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral network will enable ESRs to gain international expertise at excellent research institutions, with meaningful exposure of each ESR to other disciplines and sectors, thus going far beyond the education at a single PhD programme.


  • Candidates can be of any nationality, and there is no age limit.
  • They must have less than four years of research career and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Candidates are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e., move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status are not taken into account.
  • For all recruitment, the eligibility and mobility of the candidate will be determined at the time of their recruitment in the project.
  • There are no exceptions to these rules.

The following 15 PhD positions are available:

ESR Host Institution Project title
SPIN ESR 1.1 LMU Munich (D) Harnessing wavefield gradients: theory, experiment, applications
SPIN ESR 1.2 ETH Zürich (CH) Distributed acoustic sensing for natural hazard assessment
SPIN ESR 1.3 Université Grenoble Alpes (F) Wavefield gradient methods to monitor the Earth’s crust
SPIN ESR 1.4 IPGP Paris (F) Ocean floor seismological and environmental monitoring
SPIN ESR 2.1 GFZ Potsdam (D) Rock mechanics and Seismology
SPIN ESR 2.2 University of Edinburgh (UK) Understanding Earthquake-Induced Damage & Healing of Crustal Rocks
SPIN ESR 2.3 British Geological Service (UK) Next-Generation Physics-based earthquake forecasts
SPIN ESR 3.1 University of Edinburgh (UK) Optimal Design of Experiments and Surveys for Scientific Interrogation
SPIN ESR 3.2 LMU Munich (D) Numerical models across the scales
SPIN ESR 3.3 Université Grenoble Alpes (F) Detection and characterization of seismic signals with dense arrays of new seismological instruments
SPIN ESR 3.4 University of Hamburg (D) Ambient signals as a tool to characterize material properties
SPIN ESR 4.1 DIAS Dublin (IE) Ground motion and unrest triggering on volcanoes
SPIN ESR 4.2 University of Hamburg (D) Nonlinear seismology meets structural health monitoring
SPIN ESR 4.3 ETH Zürich (CH) Monitoring hazards from a changing alpine environment
SPIN ESR 4.4 GFZ Potsdam (D) Distributed Acoustic Sensing and Volcano-seismology

For most projects, the application deadline is 1 April 2021.

More information here