PhD Position ‒ Researcher* Marine Boundary Layer Measurements by Lidar for Offshore Wind Farms


PhD Position ‒ Researcher* Marine Boundary Layer Measurements by Lidar for Offshore Wind Farms

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros.


Who we are …
Our primary focuses at Fraunhofer IWES are on wind energy and hydrogen technologies. Our institute is home to more than 300 scientists and employees as well as over 100 students from over 30 countries pursuing careers in applied research and development at nine sites. We secure investments in technological developments through validation, shorten innovation cycles, accelerate certification procedures, and increase planning accuracy by means of innovative measurement methods.


We are pleased to offer this opportunity in cooperation with our industrial partner Vaisala, a manufacturer of wind lidars based in Saclay, France.

What you will do

These duties await you …
Your PhD research topic focuses on the development of lidar technologies for mapping and understanding the marine boundary layer (MBL) and its influence on the operation of offshore wind farms. The MBL poses new challenges for the next generation of large wind turbines due to potential abrupt shifts in wind speed and wind direction, as well as due to modulation of turbine-atmosphere interactions caused by various physical characteristics of the boundary layer.


A diverse working day is guaranteed! 
During your project, you will develop lidar beam scanning strategies for simultaneous measurements. Here, you will consider parameters of the marine boundary layer that are relevant for wind farm applications. After implementing these new strategies, you will assist in their demonstration in an offshore field measurement campaign. Afterwards, you will analyze the acquired data and validate the developed strategies to learn more about the marine boundary layer and its impact on offshore wind farm performance.


You will be part of a network!
»Atmospheric Physics and Turbulence for Wind Energy«, or »AptWind«, is a European Industrial Doctoral Network, running from September 2023 to August 2027. With a special emphasis on technology transfer between academia and industry, »AptWind« aims to train the next generation of experts in atmospheric physics for wind energy applications. As part of this program, you will divide your time between an academic institution in one country and a private-sector company in another country. In this particular case, you will spend your first 18 months at the Fraunhofer IWES in Germany and your other 18 months at Vaisala in France.


The program includes extensive training elements with a variety of specialized courses, as well as enrollment as a PhD student at a German university. You will meet regularly with the entire student and supervisory network at sites around Europe to share your progress, discuss challenges, and learn from the »AptWind« community.


More details about the program …
»AptWind« is funded by Horizon Europe through grant number 101119550. For more information please visit

For participation in the program, you must not hold a doctoral degree. In addition, you must not have worked in Germany for more than 12 months during the last 3 years. Please read the eligibility requirements carefully: We will be unable to consider your application if you do not fulfill the criteria.

What you bring to the table

What is your specialist background?
You should have completed your diploma or master’s degree in a Natural Science such as Physics, Meteorology, Geosciences or Applied Mathematics or a related Engineering Field. Are you familiar with scientific programming languages such as Python or MATLAB and eager to pursue a post-graduate training? Great, then you should definitely keep reading! Your profile is completed by a very good command of English, as we operate on an international level.

What you can expect

How would you like to develop?
We support you on your professional journey. Whether personally, professionally, or methodically, we find the right qualification measures for you. While participating in the »AptWind« program, you will develop a set of transferable skills, contribute to overcoming major barriers in the green energy transition, and develop a broad professional network in the wind energy industry.


What we can offer you …
We are approachable, share our expertise, and offer each other support, even when the duties in question are not our own. To take aspects of projects into consideration, we all work together closely, irrespective of our backgrounds. And, of course, we have experts at the institute who will gladly support you in achieving your PhD.


Eager to learn more?
If you would like to find out more information about the IWES, our research aspects, and your future colleagues, please visit our career website:


If you would like to learn more about working at Vaisala:


Terms of contract according to the European Commission's Marie Curie fellowship scheme. The position is limited to 3 years.


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications – regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability.


The application process follows the EURAXESS Code of Conduct for Recruitment and will include diverse methods to understand candidates’ strengths and experiences.


With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future.


Interested? Apply online now. We look forward to getting to know you! 


If you have any further questions, please contact:
Ms. Michelle Pfitzner
People & Development
The entire team is on hand to assist you further.
Phone: +49 471 14 290-230


Only online applications via the portal can be considered.
Please note that we observe the provisions of the valid General Data Protection Regulation when processing applications.


Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems


Requisition Number: 72388      Application Deadline: 04/01/2024


IWES - Fraunhofer-Institut / für Windenergiesysteme

Visit employer page

No deadline
Location: Germany, Bremen, Bremerhaven
Categories: Applied Mathematics,, atmospheric physics, Energy technology, Engineering, Geosciences, hydrogen technology, Meteorology, Natural Science, PhD, Physics,


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