Postdoctoral fellow in modeling of lightning with AI

Lund University, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science



Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

Lightning has been observed in warm-based thunderstorms in field campaigns involving aircraft. In the project, an observed thunderstorm will be simulated with a detailed cloud model. AI will be applied to accelerate the representation of branching of plasma channels in lightning flashes. Environmental dependencies of the simulated lightning will be studied.

Work duties

The main duties involved in a post-doctoral posistion is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included if wished, but up to no more than 10% of working hours. The position includes the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

These tasks will be performed:

  • Emulate the detailed treatment of branching in a flash using AI;
  • Develop a cloud model further by performing a lab experiment to study ice initiation;
  • Simulate two past cases of thunderstorms in USA and Brazil, comparing with coincident observations;
  • Predict the impact from various environment factors on the occurrence of lightning simulated in both cases.

Qualification requirements

Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, at the time for employent decision. The PhD have to be completed no more than three years before the last date for applications. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier (this may be adjusted based on, for example, documentation of parental leave or military service).

Applicants must have:

  • Experience in numerical modelling;
  • Knowledge of mesoscale meteorology;
  • A doctoral (PhD) degree in meteorology, with a bachelor's degree in physics or engineering (including courses in electromagnetism);
  • Oral and written proficiency in English;
  • Programming language experience in UNIX environments, with fluency in either Fortran, Python or C.

Experience with either AI techniques (e.g., machine learning) or modelling storm electrification is not essential.

Applicants must provide proof of how they meet the above requirements in the application.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

Documented knowledge in the following areas is advantageous: - (1) mathematics, especially differential equations; (2) numerical methods, such as how to write finite-difference schemes; and (3) physical meteorology, such as cloud microphysics and radiative transfer.

Consideration will be given to collaborative skills, independence and motivation.

Terms of employment

This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of 2 years. Further employment can be discussed after adequate performance.
The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S, OFR/S, dated 1 February 2022.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications are to be written in English and compiled as a PDF-file containing:

  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications,
  • a general description of past research and future research interests (no more than three pages),
  • contact information of at least two references,
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered.

published: 22 March 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.