Researcher in Drought Monitoring and Prediction Using EO Data

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

Luxembourg 🇱🇺

Are you passionate about research? So are we! Come and join us

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT. By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies.

You ‘d like to contribute as a researcher? Join our Environmental Research and Innovation department 

The Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) department, made up of 200 life science, environmental science and information technology researchers and engineers, provides the interdisciplinary knowledge, expertise and technologies to lead solutions including the major environmental challenges facing society, such as climate change mitigation, ecosystem resilience, sustainable energy systems, efficient use of renewable resources, and environmental pollution prevention and control.

The department relies on two cutting-edge platforms, the Biotechnologies and Environmental Analytics Platform and the Observatory for the Climate and the Environment, and the GreenTech Innovation Centre (GTIC): a one-stop-shop for the complete development of bio-based products and processes.

Within the ERIN department, the ‘Environmental Sensing and Modelling’ (ENVISION) unit contributes to this mission by carrying out impact-driven research, geared towards monitoring, forecasting and predicting environmental systems in a changing world. An interdisciplinary team of around 50 scientists, engineers, post-docs and PhD candidates is developing new environmental process understanding, alongside new tools and technologies – operating at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

Embedded into the ENVISION unit, the ‘Remote sensing and natural resources modelling’ research group capitalizes on a blend of remote sensing data obtained from space- and air-borne platforms, as well as in-situ measured data (collected from heterogeneous IoT devices), for producing information on the status of natural resources for public and private stakeholders.


How will you contribute?

You will work on the GRASS project 

The increase of drought intensity and frequency as a result of global warming constitutes a major threat on the sustainability of water resources and food security. To contribute to the prediction and mitigation of impacts of droughts, the FNR-funded GRASS project aims to jointly assimilate into a hydrological model two complementary types of Earth Observation data, namely soil moisture retrieved from the Sentinel-1 mission and total water storage changes obtained from GRACE&GRACE-FO. Regularly controlled process-based model predictions shall then support an agricultural drought monitoring service based on agile drone campaigns over Luxembourg and the Greater Region. Via advanced hydrological modelling and data assimilation approaches combined with a very high resolution drone monitoring capability, we aim to generate near real-time predictions of high-resolution surface soil moisture, root-zone soil moisture, groundwater and total water storage as well as plant-based water stress indicators over the Greater Region. 

The synergistic use of such data sets will: 

1) contribute to a more accurate assessment of soil water and groundwater availability in Luxembourg and the Greater Region; 

2) improve drought hazard assessment and prediction by developing suitable hydrological indicators; 

3) contribute to the development of a more holistic water resources management strategy, thereby supporting evidence-based decision support; 

4) provide relevant information to the insurance industry with respect to the estimation of climate change-induced economic loss; 

5) anticipate and characterise agricultural droughts that may occur as a result of hydrological droughts.

Characterizing droughts both from a hydrological and an agricultural point of view is expected to help stakeholders like farmers, local water resources administrations and insurance companies to better anticipate droughts and evaluate their severity.

Through the project, we aim to develop an operational drought awareness system for Luxembourg and the Greater Region.

You will work on the set up and development of the drought forecasting system based on the assimilation of satellite earth observation derived soil moisture (Sentinel-1) and total water storage changes (GRACE&GRACE-FO). You will rely on a close collaboration with remote sensing scientists and hydrodynamic modellers from LIST and RSS-Hydro. 


Is Your profile described below? Are you our future colleague? Apply now!

You hold a PhD degree in applied mathematics or environmental engineering, preferably with a focus on remote sensing and/or hydrological modelling and/or data assimilation. You also have:

  • a research interest in remote sensing data processing, process-based hydrological modelling and/or data assimilation
  • very good programming skills and strong mathematical/statistical background
  • knowledge of python and GIS software

On top of this, you’re highly motivated, with strong communication team worker skills. You are fluent in English. You’re the one we’re looking for !


Your LIST benefits

An organization with a passion for impact and strong RDI partnerships in Luxembourg and Europe that works on responsible and independent research projects; 

Sustainable by design, empowering our belief that we play an essential role in paving the way to a green society;

Innovative infrastructures and exceptional labs occupying more than 5,000 square metres, including innovations such as our Viswall, high-scale incubators and top of the range 3D/4D printings that are part of our toolkit for excelling in all we do;

Multicultural and international work environment with more than 45 nationalities represented in our workforce;  

Diverse and inclusive work environment empowering our people to fulfil their personal and professional ambitions;

Gender-friendly environment with multiple actions to attract, develop and retain women in science; 

32 days’ paid annual leave, 11 public holidays, flexible working hours, 13-month salary, statutory health insurance and access to lunch vouchers; 

Personalized learning programme to foster our staff’s soft and technical skills; 

An environment encouraging curiosity, innovation and entrepreneurship in all areas. 

Apply online

Your application must include:

  • A motivation letter oriented towards the position and detailing your experience;
  • A scientific CV with contact details;
  • List of publications (and patents, if applicable);
  • Contact details of 2 references.

Application procedure and conditions

  • LIST is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring and retaining diverse personnel. We value all applicants and will consider all competent candidates for employment without regard to national origin, race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, age or disability; 
  • Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled;
  • An assessment committee will review the applications and select candidates based on guidelines that aim to ensure equal opportunities; 
  • The main criteria for selection will be the correspondence of the existing skills and expertise of the applicant with the requirements mentioned above.


To be considered for this position it is crucial that you have knowledge of the following languages

  • English Read: C1 Advanced Write: C1 Advanced Speak: C1 Advanced


The following languages are optional but are considered a plus.

  • FrenchRead B2 Upper intermediateWrite B2 Upper intermediateSpeak B2 Upper intermediate
  • Luxembourgish; LetzeburgeschRead B2 Upper intermediateWrite B2 Upper intermediateSpeak B2 Upper intermediate
  • GermanRead B2 Upper intermediateWrite B2 Upper intermediateSpeak B2 Upper intermediate




0 or more years

Apply By: ASAP