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Plasma Propulsion for Space Applications


Department of Physics

, Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University of Auckland is conducting research into electric propulsion systems for small spacecraft. We are looking for one or more PhD candidates to (i) investigate fundamental physical processes of the helicon plasma thruster, (ii) miniature plasma thruster development or (iii) optimisation of the control and operation of a pulsed plasma thruster.

The University of Auckland collaborates in this research with the Australian National University, the Institute of Space Systems, Baylor University, University of Stuttgart and the DLR in Germany.

The ideal candidate will have skills or experience in:

* Theoretical and applied plasma physics, plasma propulsion, theoretical electrodynamics,

* Applied physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering,

* Electronics, microelectronics and embedded programming,

* Scientific computer programming, experimental data acquisition,

* Data analysis, modelling.

The PhD student will be a part of Te Pūnaha Ātea Auckland Space Institute, at The University of Auckland (space.ac.nz).

The Space Institute/Te Pūnaha Ātea is a multidisciplinary centre of expertise in space science and engineering, including a capability to execute space missions and develop applications.

Our institutional mission is to create, disseminate and exploit knowledge to support and enhance the development of the New Zealand Space Sector. Through our strategic partnerships, we have direct access to space that enables in-orbit demonstrations of technologies, and we are developing a multifunctional mission control capability to operate satellites and payloads, transforming raw data in useful information.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please follow these guidelines:

* Check your eligibility to take a PhD at The University of Auckland at https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/study/applications-and-admissions/entry-requirements/postgraduate-entry-requirements/doctoral-entry-requirements.html

* Please give an outline (500 words) of your intended topic and areas of interest for doctoral study. When you detail your research interest, please ensure you succinctly record:

* The area of research which particularly interests you.
---- Why you have chosen this area.
---- What you hope to achieve during your studies at the University of Auckland
---- How your proposed research relates to current and recent research in this area at the University of Auckland. See http://astrophysics-and-astronomy.blogs.auckland.ac.nz/spacecraft-trajectory-and-propulsion-research/
---- Email your statement, CV and academic record (including grades and subjects) to the contacts for this position.

Funding Notes

Excellent candidates for PhD research at The University of Auckland can compete for a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. We can assess your chances if you send us your statement, CV and academic record (including grades and subjects).

Before you enquire after this opportunity, please take the time to review how your skills and experience will support your research plans and build off our existing research programme.

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