MEMO2: MEthane goes MObile – MEsurements and MOdelling

ESR1: Monitoring the methane emissions from different sources in Germany

Supervisor: Dr. Martina Schmidt (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Co-supervisor: Prof. Thomas Röckmann (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
Employer: University of Heidelberg, Germany

Project description: The three major CH4 sources in Germany today, ruminants (53%), waste treatment (22%) and transport and storage of natural gas (25%), will be monitored with a mobile CH4 analyser installed in vehicle. The CH4 mole fraction and the isotopic composition (13CH4) will be analysed during regular campaigns to determine the temporal and spatial variability of emissions. A method for precise in-situ 13CH4 measurements will be developed in cooperation with colleagues the network. The data will be analysed with Gaussian plume models to obtain emissions of the individual sources, which will be compared to regional emission inventories. The project will focus on EU scale emissions from natural gas transport and will help to constrain temporal and spatial variability of CH4 source emissions in Germany and to compare the measured emissions with regional emission inventories. Within the project the isotopic composition of different CH4 sources in Germany will be determined, as well as the emission of CH4 from natural gas and shale gas in Europe.

Secondements: The successful candidate will spend 1 month at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, for isotope measurements, further 1 month at the Universitè de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, to learn about acetylene measurements, 1 month at AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland, for shale gas measurements, and a short secondment at the Umweltbundesamt, Germany, for inventories.

We are searching for: The position is available for a candidate with an excellent master’s degree in physics or in a related discipline with a strong interest in atmospheric and environmental sciences. We expect excellent English language skills; knowledge of German is advantageous. Candidates must be willing to travel abroad for secondments and measurement campaigns, and to present their research to an international research community. As this project requires close collaboration within the consortium, candidates are expected to be excellent team players. A driving licence for passenger cars is required. The participation in workshops and secondments during the project is mandatory. According to EU eligibility criteria, researchers may be of any nationality, BUT must be at their early carrier stage and may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the application deadline.

We offer: We offer a highly stimulating research environment with excellent infrastructure and broad interdisciplinary surrounding. Several extended visits at partner institutes will support the multidisciplinary character of this research. Working place is Heidelberg in the Institute of Environmental Physics, in the Group of GHG and Water cycle. MSCA-ETN projects are part of Horizon 2020 and offer attractive salaries and working conditions following the conditions as described in the respective work programs.

Selection procedure: The selection procedure will follow the Code of Conduct for Recruitment. Candidates will be selected first on EU eligibility criteria, second on qualifications. Shortlisted candidates will be expected to attend for interview in spring 2017. The interview panel will consist of the Heidelberg University supervisors and an independent member of the departmental research committee.

Deadline: Eligible applications received before 15 October 2017 will receive full consideration.

Contact: Please send your application material directly to or to the MEMO2 coordinator Prof. Thomas Röckmann, ( or Dr. Sylvia Walter ( The application material should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, copies of university and high-school degrees (including grades) and either two letters of recommendation or contact information of two people that can be contacted for reference. For more information on the MEMO2 project, including this and other vacancies, please visit the MEMO2 website.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Martina Schmidt (email:, tel: 0049-6221-545481).