2 PhD Positions for the SOUL project at KU Leuven

Catholic University of Leuven
Leuven, Belgium
Closing date
24 Feb 2024

We invite motivated candidates to apply for PhD and postdoctoral positions as part of the new Centre of Excellence SOUL: Stellar evOlution in fUll gLory, a long-term project receiving structural funds from the Flemish government and awarded to Conny Aerts, Hugues Sana, Leen Decin, and Tom Van Doorsselaere. SOUL bridges the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) and the Centre of mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA) of KU Leuven in Belgium and aims to develop 3D models of evolving close binaries and star-planet systems. The 4 PIs are well embedded in international consortia and collaborations, involving worldwide observatorieson ground and in space, as well as high-performance computing centres.

The vacancies

The following initial SOUL positions at KU Leuven (Belgium) are offered:

A 2 + 2-year PhD position. Within this position we will build numerical 3D magnetohydrodynamic models for stellar atmospheres in a binary system. The student will work in close collaboration with the postdoc who implements the numerical model and extend their work to binary systems. The aim is to quantify binary mass exchanges in advanced atmospheric models of star-star and star-planet systems. Previous student projects or internships with supercomputing and programming for MHD are a plus. In-depth knowledge of plasma physics is essential. Supervisor: Tom Van Doorsselaere. Inquiries: tom.vandoorsselaere@kuleuven.be

A 2 + 2-year PhD position. The aim of this position is to provide the temporal evolution of the multiplicity properties as massive stars age and interact. The student will utilise Mercator, VLT, Gaia and TESS observations to map the evolution of supernova progenitors. Interpretation of these data will provide a first statistically meaningful homogeneous sample of quiescent neutron star and black hole single-degenerate binaries in the Milky Way. Our improved statistics will serve as benchmark for the theoretical computations. Supervisor: Hugues Sana. Inquiries: hugues.sana@kuleuven.be.

The Host Institutes

The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) and Centre of mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA) of KU Leuven in Belgium are young and vibrant research groups of approximately 150 scientists, engineers, and administrative staff. The institutes are expertise centres in stellar and planetary physics and are active in several international consortia and collaborations, involving telescopes at observatories worldwide and in space. The institutes have a long tradition in instrumental, observational, and theoretical studies of stellar evolution bridging the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Mathematics. Members of IoA and CmPA have access to parallel computing facilities at KU Leuven.

The IoA and CmPA together are responsible for the organisation of the 2-year Master in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Advanced Master of Space Studies of the Faculty of Science.

For more information: see http://fys.kuleuven.be/ster/ (IoA) and https://wis.kuleuven.be/CmPA (CmPA).

Inquiries and applications

The preferred starting date for all positions is between August 1st and October 1st 2024.

For more information and to apply please visit the KU Leuven vacancies page: https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/60305230

General Inquiries About SOUL and profiles:

Attention To: Prof. Conny Aerts, SOUL Methusalem Beneficiary;

Subject: Methusalem Grant SOUL positions;

Email: conny.aerts@kuleuven.be

For questions on the application process: please contact Rose Stanley, rose.stanley@kuleuven.be

  • Application Deadline: March 25th 2024
  • Selection Deadline: May 1st 2024

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