PhD Position

Left: Dynamico icosahedral grid (Dubos & Tort 2014). Middle: fingering convection simulation (Brown et al. 2013). Right: JWST artist view (NASA)


Simulation of circulation and fingering convection in the atmosphere of 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). Co-advisor Sébastien Fromang (Department of Astrophysics CEA).

Context & Role:

The successful candidate will develop and run High Performance Computing (HPC) simulations of the circulation induced by irradiation in the atmosphere of exoplanets and look at its impact on fingering convection within the ERC Project ATMO. The target application is to characterize the temperature in the deep atmosphere of irradiated exoplanets to explain the radius inflation of these objects (Tremblin et al. 2017) by using newly developed Earth global circulation model (e.g. fluid dynamics simulation with the code Dynamico). He/she will also characterize the impact of the circulation on fingering convection triggered by chemical transitions (e.g. CO/CH\(_4\), see this page) in the atmosphere of irradiated exoplanets (Tremblin et al. 2016). The goal here 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 the impact of shear flows on fingering convection in these irradiated objects. These results will then be used for the interpretation of JWST data, to get access to a robust estimation of the chemical composition of irradiated exoplanet  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.