PhD and MSc positions in Space optics for the European Space Agency (ESA)

Job type: 


Application deadline: 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Research group: 

The Cretan Matter Waves group at IESL FORTH in Heraklion (Greece) is looking for excellent candidates for a PhD and MSc positions to develop optics for space missions. This project will be supervised by Dr. Wolf von Klitzing and Dr. Dimitris Papazoglou.

We have recently received funding for the second round in the development of optical breadboard technologies for complex optical space missions with a special view towards Quantum-enhanced satellite missions.

There is currently a large drive at ESA and NASA to prepare for the next jump in technology: Quantum-enhanced space missions. The two top candidates to go on a rocket are quantum cryptography and atom-interferometry. One example of such a mission would be to map earth’s gravity field using atom-quantum interferometry (GOCE – Follow On). This will give much needed information on water levels (and salinity) of the world’s oceans and changes in ground water levels over the continents. However, the technological requirements to produce atom-based quantum states in space are extreme, and this applies especially to the optical components and their assembly.

Our mission is to supply a key for the satellite-based experiments: the optical bench, where the laser light is distributed and conditioned in amplitude and frequency. So far, due to the extreme specs imposed by atom interferometry, this is not possible using in-fiber technology. Hence the need to develop the necessary optical bread-board technologies for quantum satellites.

The Master/PhD Student will work on an ESA project to provide exactly this technology. This will require optics knowledge – both experimentally and theoretically. The student(s) will work under the supervision of Wolf von Klitzing and Dimitris Papazoglou.

You can apply by sending an email to Dr. Wolf von Klitzing ( with the following material:

1) A letter of motivation of less than one page.
2) A CV
3) Transcripts of grades
4) Details of two possible referees.