University of Luxembourg

PhD candidate in Modeling Space Program Architectures for Informing Strategic Planning

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SnT is a leading international research and innovation centre in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT systems and services. We play an instrumental role in Luxembourg by fueling innovation through research partnerships with industry, boosting R&D investments leading to economic growth, and attracting highly qualified talent.

The Centre is rapidly expanding its research activities and is seeking highly motivated PhD candidates who wish to pursue research in close cooperation with our partners. For further information you may check: www.securityandtrust.lu and

We’re looking for people driven by excellence, excited about innovation, and looking to make a difference. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!

Your Role

You will join the new Space Systems Engineering group ( Together, we will design breakthrough space systems and cutting-edge systems engineering methods within the highly dynamic and rapidly growing Luxembourg space ecosystem. The PhD will be on the following topic:

Modeling Space Program Architectures for Informing Strategic Planning

How can a space program architecture be represented to support decision-makers in exploring alternatives and informing strategy? The main focus of this PhD will be on the development of a conceptual framework of space program architectures and the more detailed development of a meta model / data model of space program architectures, including the definition of high-level simulation models that are used for sizing technologies, systems, and missions. The methodology is primarily based on a combination of a literature survey and expert reviews to define the conceptual framework and data model. In addition, use cases and case studies are used for validating the resulting models. These use cases are either linked to the current Luxembourg space ecosystem or might even be outside space, e.g. sustainable energy transition.

The expected outcomes of the PhD thesis are threefold:

  • A conceptual framework of space program architectures
  • A detailed meta model / data model of space program architectures, including simulation models for analyzing the performance of specific missions, systems, and technologies
  • The application of the models to case studies, e.g. Luxembourg space program, outside space (energy transition, mobility, etc.)

You will be enrolled in the doctoral school of the University of Luxembourg. Andreas Hein will be the primary supervisor.

You will be involved in the majority of the publications related to the project and will also participate in the development of the prototypes.

Your work will be performed with international collaborators, including major space companies and universities. The thesis work is expected to be conducted within a duration of 36 to 48 months from start to thesis defense.

Your Profile

Experience: Ideally, you should have some knowledge and experience in some of the following topics:

  • Systems engineering or engineering design: Processes, methods, tools for developing complex systems
  • Model-Based Systems Engineering (e.g. SysML and associated tools)
  • Data modeling, meta modeling, or ontologies
  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-objective design optimization
  • Fundamentals of space systems

You should have the following aptitudes:

  • Teamwork-oriented
  • Systems thinking: Holistic thinking, broad interests across disciplinary boundaries;
  • Abstract thinking: Able to rapidly grasp abstract concepts
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

You will be required to perform the following tasks:

  • Carrying out research in the predefined areas
  • Carrying out lab activities and maintenance in collaboration with other team members
  • Disseminating results through scientific publications
  • Assisting in the organization of relevant workshops

Qualification: You should possess an MSc degree or equivalent in Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics or affine.

Programming Skills: Experience in Matlab and/or Python is an asset

Systems Engineering Tools: Experience with one or more MBSE tools (Cameo, MagicDraw, Capella, etc.) is an asset

Language Skills: Fluent written and verbal communication skills in English are required.

Here’s what awaits you at SnT

  • A stimulating learning environment. Here post-docs and professors outnumber PhD students. That translates into access and close collaborations with some of the brightest ICT researchers, giving you solid guidance
  • Exciting infrastructures and unique labs. At SnT’s two campuses, our researchers can take a walk on the moon at the LunaLab, build a nanosatellite, or help make autonomous vehicles even better
  • The right place for IMPACT. SnT researchers engage in demand-driven projects. Through our Partnership Programme, we work on projects with more than 55 industry partners
  • Multiple funding sources for your ideas. The University supports researchers to acquire funding from national, European and private sources
  • Competitive salary package. The University offers a 12 month-salary package, over six weeks of paid time off, meal vouchers and health insurance
  • Be part of a multicultural family. At SnT we have more than 60 nationalities. Throughout the year, we organise team-building events, networking activities and more
  • Boost your career. Students can take advantage of several opportunities for growth and career development, from free language classes to career resources and extracurricular activities

But wait, there’s more!

In Short

  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Month (extendable up to 48 months if required)
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Location: Kirchberg
  • Employee and student status
  • Job Reference: UOL05445

The yearly gross salary for every PhD at the UL is EUR 38028 (full time)

How to apply

Applications should be submitted online and include:

  • Full CV, including list of publications and name (and email address, etc.) of three referees (names and contact information sufficient)
  • Transcript of all modules and results from university-level courses taken
  • Cover letter including topics of particular interest to the candidate

All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

About the University of Luxembourg

University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

Further information

For further information, please contact us at

Informatie over de vacature

PhD candidate in Modeling Space Program Architectures for Informing Strategic Planning
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