PostDoc on the application of ML methods to space and astrophysics

The KU Leuven Center for Mathematical Plasma Astrophysics is looking for a PostDoctoral candidate with interest in applying Machine Learning (ML) and Data Assimilation techniques to space science. The position will combine the study of simulations (massively parallel kinetic simulation with particle in cell methods, massively parallel fluid simulations of the magnetospheric system) and observations from remote sensing (e.g. SDO, solar dynamic observatory) and in situ (e.g. magnetospheric multiscale mission MMS, Parker solar probe PSP and solar orbiter SolO).

The work will take place in collaboration with the Leuven.AI Institute ( and the AIDA Horizon 2020 project (, a network of leading european and international experts in ML and space science. 


At least three, of the following items should be very familiar to the selected candidate, or the candidate should have an interest to learn in a concentrated initial effort:

  • Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks, Bayesian Methods,

  • Data assimilation methods  (Kalman filters),

  • Solar, Magnetospheric and Solar wind data analysis,

  • Expertise on computer programming with Python, C, C++ or Fortran,

  • Knowledge of advanced parallel programing (OpenMP, MPI, CUDA)

  • Plasma physics, astrophysics or space physics,

  • Numerical methods for fluid dynamics, MHD and kinetic physics particle in cell (PIC) methods.


  • Starting: Immediately or upon availability of the selected candidate, with target date September 1, 2020. Working remotely will be possible and encouraged until the COVID19 crisis is not history. However, the buildings of KULeuven are now open regularly and it is possible to go to one’s office. 

  • Duration: 1 year, with possible extensions up to three years, depending on performance evaluation and funding.

  • Salary: the standard salary for PostDocs at KULeuven is amongst the highest in Europe. More information on the conditions at:

  • Teaching experience: There will be opportunities for teaching experiences, lecturing, supervision of student projects, guiding the candidate to develop an academic curriculum.

  • Publication: We will focus on developing open source software and peer reviewed papers.

  • Career perspective: our previous postdocs work now in academia (e.g. KTH in Sweden, CNR in Italy, EPFL in Switzerland, University of Surrey and University of Lancaster in the UK, University of Colorado and LANL in USA, University of Wuhan, China) and industry (e.g. Ubisoft Berlin, Flemish Supercomputer Centre, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Samsung, Cardiatis Belgium).

For more information on the position, please, contact Giovanni Lapenta at: 

To apply please go to: