Vacancy: PhD Candidate, Influence of Geological Sample Surfaces on TIR Spectroscopy

The department of Earth Systems Analysis (ESA) combines earth science knowledge with spatial modelling and advanced remote sensing to understand earth processes in space and time. Our education and research contribute to a sustainable use of energy and earth resources, and help reduce disaster risk and the impact of natural hazards on society. We have a strong track record in research and capacity development projects all over the world, with emphasis on East Africa, South East Asia and the Central America/Caribbean.


Thermal infrared spectroscopy of rocks and drill cores is becoming an increasingly mainstream method to measure and analyze big datasets in e.g. mining operations. Preliminary spectroscopic results on drill cores show that the preparation of the measured drill core surface has an influence on the resulting spectra. Furthermore modern core imaging methods measure spectral information with pixels that approach the size of individual crystals in a fabric. Crystallographic orientation of the individual minerals in the fabric will influence the spectra measured and can deteriorate the interpretation of the results.

In this PhD research, you will be using the state-of–the-art TIR instrumentation of the Geoscience Laboratory to study and quantify the effects of, amongst others, surface roughness, sample preparation methods, sample orientation and polarization effects of the instrument on the measured spectra, and quantify their effects on the projected sample composition. Your will be focusing on mid-infrared / thermal infrared laboratory and field spectrometers, but will also include other analytical methods such as SEM for surface analysis and XRD for crystallographic information. The results of the study will show the range of deterioration to be expected per influencing factor, as well as a correction methods or “best practice” paths to create consistent and correct results.

This research will be embedded in the research group on Geological Remote Sensing / 4D-EARTH of the University of Twente. It is a leading organization in the use of laboratory, field and airborne spectroscopy for rock and soil identification as well as quantification.


We are looking for an experimental scientist with an MSc (or equivalent) in a natural sciences, such as Earth Sciences, Geophysics, Applied Physics, Physical Chemistry or similar with a strong interest in mineralogy and inorganic crystallography. Experience with programming in IDL, Python or Matlab is an asset. You have the ability to develop and translate abstract scientific hypotheses into a number of appropriate experiments, and the technical ability to set up and execute these experiments. You should be fluent in English, experienced in (technical) writing and possess good communication skills.

Information and application

For more information you can contact dr. C.A. Hecker (e-mail:

For general information about the department you can contact the Chairman (Prof. Victor Jetten, e-mail:

Please submit your application through the form before 1 January 2016 (choose “apply here” below).

See also our other 3 vacancies for PhD Candidate (Promovendus) at the Department of ESA.


We offer you an inspiring and challenging international and academic environment. You will employed for a period of 4 years. Salary and conditions will be in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch Universities. Gross monthly salary ranges from € 2,125.- in the first year to € 2,717.- in the last year, exclusive of allowances, in accordance with the job profile Promovendus, under the University System for Job Classification (UJC). Costs for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over six faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University ofTwente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC’s activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.

Fir more information please visit:!/vacature/563832

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