University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) Switzerland – PhD Position in UAV-based remote sensing

Recent developments in high-performance sensor technology and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV or drone systems) open an entirely new dimension of remote sensing. The project will focus on the UAV- based data acquisition and interpretation in the context of surface water groundwater interactions. This includes high resolution topographical and hyperspectral data acquisition of streambeds and their interpretation using state of the art geostatistics and numerical models simulating surface water- groundwater interactions.

The high-performance UAV platform that will be employed includes a thermal camera, a hyperspectral camera and a LiDAR system. The system is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The funded UAV system is unique in its configuration of sensors and capabilities.

The PhD position is based at the Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN) at the University of Neuchâtel under the supervision of Profs. P. Brunner and P. Renard. The CHYN offers a stimulating research environment with about 50 collaborators. The candidate will benefit from a comprehensive pool of field and laboratory equipment (including a ground based hyperspectral camera), technical support staff and a dynamic PhD school. Extensive training in piloting the UAV system and the sensors is provided. The PhD student will further benefit from a close collaboration with University of Lausanne (Prof. G. Mariéthoz).

Required qualifications

The project is ideally suited for a candidate who has a keen interest in integrating methods and data of different disciplines. The candidate must have strong quantitative skills and preferably a background in remote sensing, physics, geophysics, computational sciences, mathematics or related disciplines as well as an interest in solving groundwater issues with novel technologies. She/He has a talent and passion to develop experimental setups for the field. Fluency in English is required.


Beginning: 1. June 2018 (or upon agreement) for 3 years

Additional information

Additional information about the position can be obtained from Prof. P. Brunner ([email protected])


Applications should include a concise statement describing the motivation to work on this research project, copies of your academic qualifications and names of two referees. The application should be addressed to Philip Brunner as a single pdf file ([email protected]). Please use the term “UAV_PROJECT” in the subject of your email. Deadline for the application:       20. April 2018.