Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement PhD Project in the research field of hydrogeodesy

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European Geosciences Union

PhD Project in the research field of hydrogeodesy

PhD Project in the research field of hydrogeodesy

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) logo

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) is the flagship of Estonian engineering and technology education. TalTech is Estonia’s most innovative university, as confirmed by the Estonian universities’ reputation survey. TalTech is especially known for its innovation in the field of digital technologies and engineering. Founded in 1918, TalTech is located in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and is currently the most international university in the country with around 1600 international degree students coming from over 90 different countries. TalTech is ranked 601-650 in the QS World University Rankings with subfields such as Engineering and Technology, and Business Administration ranked 451-500. At TalTech, we make real things, such as self-driving cars or the TTÜ100 satellite. We offer an opportunity to study in a modern digital campus where many of the most recent technologies are tested and implemented on the daily basis.
For more details see


Tallinn, Estonia


Relevant divisions
Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI)
Geodesy (G)
Ocean Sciences (OS)

Full time

Entry level

Tuition fee is waived for all PhD students. All PhD students studying with full-load have the right to receive doctoral allowance (660 €) paid by the government. The research group provides the remaining salary.

Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

2 May 2021

Job description

Title of doctoral thesis topic: Development of a hybrid machine learning approach to determine accurate sea surface heights by utilizing satellites, in-situ and model data

Obtaining accurate and compatible sea level data is now more important ever before, especially for navigation, engineering and climate studies. Several sources such as tide gauges (TG), satellite altimetry (SA), hydrodynamic model (HDM) and GNSS data are often utilized. These sources however suffer from: (i) different resolutions and (ii) dissimilar or unknown vertical reference datum. The utilization of the geoid (equipotential surface of the earth) allows these sources to now all conform to a common vertical reference datum. By synergizing the different data sets it is now possible to obtain accurate sea level data from the offshore to the coastal areas within centimetre accuracy. The focus of this study is that by combining different sources the development of a method that allows real-time prediction of sea level data both on the coastal and offshore areas. This can be accomplished by the utilization of statistical and machine learning algorithms.

The PhD candidate shall develop a method that combines SA, TG, geoid, HDM and GNSS profiles to determine accurate sea level data. This development requires: (i) bringing the various data sets to a common vertical reference datum using the marine geoid; (ii) examining the sea level results especially with respect to inconsistencies and reasons for this, and the errors associated with corrected sea level (iii) identifying the contributors that affect the sea level with a spatial and temporal sea level budget and (iv) using all the sources along with the relevant data on the contributors to perform statistical and machine learning algorithm to predict the real-time sea level and its associated uncertainty. The candidate is required to perform signal processing, statistical and computing techniques (in terms of RMS error, stand. dev, uncertainty estimates, error budgets, machine learning techniques etc.). From these results a specific model shall be developed toward predicting the instantaneous real-time sea level that is essential for engineering and navigation purposes. The candidate is expected to assist in project related field campaigns.

How to apply

Applications are submitted in the following link
The submission period is May 03, 2021 00:00 and May 31, 2021 23:59 (Europe/Zurich)

The applicants should fulfill the following requirements:
University degree (M.Sc.) in geodesy or geomatics. Consideration will be given to applicants whose previous degrees are in appropriate related disciplines, such as Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics or software engineering.
Skills in signal processing (to be trained), data analysis, mathematical and statistics (to be trained), machine learning (to be trained)
Ability for independent research as part of a team, interest in the presentation and publication of scientific results.
Advanced computer literacy and programming skills.
Good command of the English language (speaking and writing).
The PhD candidate is expected to be at full time position for a duration of 4 years. The candidate is obligated to participate and fulfil the requirements of Tallinn University of Technology PhD programme. Additional funds will be provided (and whence applicable the associated funding can be applied for) for research trainings, conferences and international mobility/stays abroad with durations of up to 6 months. The research group wishes to increase the number of women interested in Geomatics. Qualified women are therefore also encouraged to apply. Do not hesitate to contact us for questions regarding the position. We look forward to receiving your application.