15.5.2021  Welcome Jonas Zbinden

We are happy to welcome Jonas Zbinden who is starting his PhD thesis on solar/stellar flares and machine learning.

10.5.2021  Congratulations Dr. Panos

Congratulations to Dr. Brandon Panos for successfully defending his PhD thesis entitled "The Analysis of Solar Flares Using Machine Learning"

19.1.2021  SPD/AAS Karen Harvey prize 2021

The 2021 Karen Harvey Prize for significant contributions to the study of the Sun early in a person's professional career is awarded to Dr. Lucia Kleint. Her contributions are numerous, among them observations and modeling of turbulent magnetic fields in the quiet Sun; analysis of unprecedented high precision spectropolarimetric and spectroscopic measurements of the photosphere and chromosphere during flares; and applications of machine learning techniques to flare data. Dr. Kleint coordinated the flight software team for the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX), now flying on Solar Orbiter. She then led the German solar telescopes on Tenerife, where she spearheaded a major redesign and upgrade of the optical system and operations of the GREGOR telescope. She now leads a research group at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

10.10.2020: Job advertisement for PhD student position

The University of Geneva invites applications for a PhD student position in Heliophysics and Machine Learning. The student will work in the interdisciplinary PRIMA group “Understanding Solar and Stellar Flares with Machine Learning” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Solar and stellar flares are highly energetic eruptions on the Sun, which are neither fully understood, nor can they be well predicted. This project has the goal of developing, implementing, and using methods to analyze large (Terabyte) astronomy data sets to better understand the physics of flares. 

The project consists of analyzing data from the satellites IRIS, SDO, Kepler, and/or TESS with the option of applying for additional state-of-the-art observations at the largest solar telescopes worldwide (DKIST, GREGOR, SST). The goal is to identify and classify flares and their spectra, potentially find outliers and commonalities, and to interpret the results with physics models, such as radiative transfer simulations.  The length of a PhD is typically 3-4 years, with the salary determined by the SNF. A generous budget for conferences and collaborations is available, as well as the possibility to apply for telescope observing time. The PhD student will be employed at the computer science department of the University of Geneva, under the supervision of the project leader, Dr. Lucia Kleint and the head of the stochastic information processing group Prof. Dr. Slava Voloshynovskiy.


Desired profile:

- We are looking for highly motivated candidates with (or obtaining soon) an MSc in physics or astronomy. 

- Knowledge of programming and/or handling of large data would be beneficial.

- At least basic knowledge of astrophysics (Sun and stars) is required and will be verified during the interview.

- Strong English verbal and written communication skills.

- Strong analytical abilities and problem solving/troubleshooting skills.


The selection of candidates will start after November 20, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. The starting date is negotiable, preferably around February 1, 2021. Applications shall be submitted as one pdf file (<5 MB) to Lucia Kleint containing: a CV, a 1-page statement explaining the motivation for the application, a copy of BSc and MSc transcripts of courses and grades (scans of official transcripts are sufficient) and if available, a link to the Master’s thesis.

Two letters of recommendation shall be sent before the application deadline directly by the referees to Lucia Kleint.