PhD Candidate in Quantitative Multi-range Infrared Imaging Spectroscopy of Rocks
University of Twente Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation

Job description

The Department of Earth Systems Analysis 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 the sustainable use of energy and Earth resources and help reduce disaster risk and the impact of natural hazards on society.

ITC’s research cluster on Spectral Information Technology and Raw Materials is focusing on the development of spectral processing methods that are objective and reproducible. Infrared Imaging Spectroscopy is routinely used in laboratories and core sheds around the world to measure the mineralogical composition of rock samples and drill cores. However, spectroscopic responses from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength ranges give different mineralogical information depending on the interpretation methods and the mineral groups studied. Interpretation of spectroscopic imagery lack standardization and clear concepts of multi-range data integration. This leads to a subjective, inconsistent, and non-reproducible assessment of rock composition.

The aim of the research is to create quantitative and reproducible estimates of rock composition by improving the interpretation and integration of mineralogical mapping results from hyperspectral imagery. The initial focus is on developing the strategy on how to extract and combine information from the different wavelength ranges into an accurate and geologically and geochemically useful representation of the actual rock composition. The resulting strategy will be integrated into an expert system for creating realistic estimates of mineralogical composition. 

With this PhD position, you will work within the Earth Systems Analysis (ESA) department and contribute to the development of expert systems for the identification and the quantification of earth materials. Furthermore, you will work on the improvement of interpreting rock composition using multi-range hyperspectral imagery in a laboratory setup.   

Your profile

You have:

  • An MSc degree or an international equivalent in the relevant fields of Geology or Earth Sciences;
  • Solid understanding of mineralogy/petrography;
  • Experience with hyperspectral image analysis or mineral spectroscopy;
  • A keen interest in petrological investigation methods, such as thin section analysis, XRD, XRF or microprobe;
  • Good collaboration and communication skills.
  • Affinity with a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary environment is key.
  • An excellent command of English.


Additional information about this position can be obtained from Dr. Frank van Ruitenbeek (e-mail:  You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 10 May 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application must include (i) a motivation letter clearly stating how you meet the selection criteria and (ii) a detailed CV with references.

Our offer

We offer you an inspiring multidisciplinary and challenging international and academic environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

You will be fulltime employed for four years. Salary and conditions will be in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement (CAO-NU) of the Dutch Universities.

  • A starting salary of € 2,325.00 in the first year and a salary of € 2,972.00 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment;
  • Professional and personal development programs;
  • Costs for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company.

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

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.

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