This project offers the exciting opportunity to develop fundamental new insight into the certainty of satellite estimates of climate change, with a focus on Earth’s polar ice sheets. The melting of ice from Greenland and Antarctica contributes more than one third of global sea level rise. Satellites provide a unique tool for systematically monitoring the response of these vast ice sheets to climate change, yet comprehensive estimates of the uncertainty associated with these measurements is challenging. This complicates their interpretation by end-users such as climate modellers and policy makers. The project aims to address this challenge, by developing a fundamental new approach to estimating the uncertainty of satellite altimetry measurements of ice sheet change. This will be achieved by bringing together the disciplines of Earth Observation and metrology (the science of measurement). Specifically, you will (1) work to develop a framework to characterise end-to-end uncertainty in satellite altimetry estimates of ice sheet change, (2) use this new framework to estimate the certainty with which we can derive long-term trends in the contribution of ice sheets to sea level, and (3) explore how this approach can be applied to other sources of satellite data, such as optical and radar imagery. This PhD project benefits from being a CASE studentship, meaning that the successful student will have the opportunity to work with experts in both metrology and satellite Earth Observation, and to undertake a secondment at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. You will also become a member of the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (a national Centre of expertise in polar remote sensing) and the new Lancaster University-CEH Centre of Excellence in Environmental Data Science. There will be extensive opportunities to collaborate with glaciologists, climate scientists, data scientists and statisticians, and to work closely with the European Space Agency.
About You This project is particularly well-suited to applicants with a background in physics, mathematics, computer science, data science, or engineering, who would like to use numeric techniques to study environmental science and climate change. Applications should hold the minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent. About The Company We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.
We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefits. NPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.
As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics’ Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.
To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.