University of Luxembourg

PhD candidate in Sustainability in Space - Designing Future Space Services and Infrastructure

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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

The new employee 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.

Your Role

The current servitization of space is introducing profound change, challenging established companies with new business models, and significantly lowering the entry barrier to space. New types of services such as Mission-as-a-Service, Satellite-as-a-Service, Constellation-as-a-Service, etc., are emerging at a rapid pace. This is just the beginning. The future might see a space infrastructure on which new space services could be built at low cost and risk, similar to business models enabled by the internet, cloud computing, etc. on Earth. Key enablers for such an infrastructure are communications and data infrastructures and new computing approaches such as edge computing, fog computing, cloud computing. These combined services and infrastructure elements (also called product-service system) could also lead to significant sustainability benefits via replacing physical products by services. Instead of developing a spacecraft which would impact the environment via its production, launch and space debris, various space assets and their capacities are efficiently used, reducing the environmental impact significantly (e.g. constellation shared between multiple users instead of each one launching a separate constellation). However, these new space services and infrastructure are largely unexplored to date, despite their huge potential.

The main objective of this thesis is to develop a systems architecting approach for new space services and infrastructure to enable their systematic design and assessing their potential sustainability impact. This objective requires the execution of the following subtasks:

  • Survey the existing literature on space and terrestrial product-service systems, service engineering, service design research in order to transfer these concepts and design approaches to space;
  • Survey emerging space technologies for novel space services and infrastructure, e.g. communication (e.g. 5G, 6G, distributed antennae), computing paradigms (e.g. edge computing, fog computing, cloud computing);
  • Development of a tailored systems architecting approach for new space services and infrastructure;
  • A sustainability-oriented evaluation approach, in order to assess the economic, environmental, and societal impact of new space services and infrastructure;
  • Design specific combined new space services and infrastructure elements, e.g. services based on novel communications (e.g. 5G, 6G) and computing approaches in space, e.g. edge computing, fog computing, cloud computing.

Your Profile

Experience: The ideal candidate should have some knowledge and experience in some of the following topics:

  • Systems engineering / service engineering / engineering design: Processes, methods, tools for developing complex systems and services
  • Model-Based Systems Engineering (e.g. SysML and associated tools)
  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-objective design optimization
  • Product service systems, service engineering, service design
  • Sustainability: environmental life cycle assessment, eco-design etc.
  • Fundamentals of astronautics, astrodynamics
  • Fundamentals of (tele)communications engineering and computing

The candidate should have the following aptitudes:

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

The position holder 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: The candidate 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
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Location: Kirchberg
  • Foreseen starting date (negotiable): End of 2022 / Early 2023
  • Internal Title: Doctoral Researcher
  • Job Reference: UOL05276

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

The work of the PhD candidate will be performed in collaboration with international consortia, 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.

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
  • Transcript of all modules and results from university-level courses taken
  • Research statement and topics of particular interest to the candidate (300 words)

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



PhD candidate in Sustainability in Space - Designing Future Space Services and Infrastructure
2, avenue de I'Universite Beles, Luxemburg
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