PhD Position

Left: Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) with the p4est library. Middle: fingering convection simulation (Brown et al. 2013). Right: JWST artist view (NASA)


Simulation of fingering convection in the atmosphere of brown dwarfs and non-irradiated exoplanets


3 years at Maison de la Simulation, CEA Paris-Saclay, France. The funding is secured by the ERC project ATMO. PhD Advisor: Pascal Tremblin (Personal Website).

Context & Role:

The successful candidate will develop and run High Performance Computing (HPC) simulations of fingering convection (stratified hydrodynamics with mean-molecular-weight instabilities) within the ERC Project ATMO. The target application is fingering convection triggered by chemical transitions (e.g. CO/CH\(_4\), see this page) in the atmosphere of brown dwarfs and non-irradiated exoplanets (Tremblin et al. 2016). The goal is to produce and use high-end simulation tools designed for the next generation of largest supercomputers (GPUs, Xeon Phis, etc) for the study of fingering convection in these objects, by using an innovative numerical solver for low- and high- Mach flows and adaptive mesh refinement (AMR). These results will then be used for the interpretation of JWST data, to get access to a robust estimation of the chemical composition of exoplanet and brown dwarf atmospheres.

He/she will be part of the ATMO team at  Maison de la Simulation (numerical simulation lab of CEA) and will also work in collaboration with astrophysicists at the Department of Astrophysics at CEA and collaborators in the international scientific community. He/she will have the opportunity to work on production level HPC codes running on the most powerful supercomputers.

Required skills :
  • Master or equivalent  in Astrophysics or HPC
  • Operational knowledge of techniques and programming language (Fortran90, C or C++) for application development
  • Skills to work in a team
Included Benefits:

Additional funding for conferences, collaborations, personal equipment and publications is available. The positions include comprehensive benefits packages such as transportation and lunch subsidies, medical insurance, maternity leave and retirement benefits. + unlimited coffee!


To apply, please send a CV and a motivation letter to pascal.tremblin[at] and arrange to have 2 letters of reference forwarded to the same email address.