The BRAVE Project:
Intermediate and high-mass stars play a critical role in the evolution of their galactic and extragalactic environments, driving chemical evolution and regulating star formation. Many of these stars are formed in close binary systems and will strongly interact with their companion, therefore deviating significantly from evolutionary predictions for single stars. The rich variety of interaction channels allows us to probe exciting new outcome in stellar evolution, including stellar mergers, exotic supernovae, and gravitational wave sources. However, the complex three-dimensional processes that characterize binary interactions are not well understood, hampering the predictive power of evolutionary models. Progresses in this area is critical, as large scale observational programs (including gravitational wave observations) provide ever-growing samples of well characterized stellar populations.
In this context, the BRAVE project aims to tackle long-standing problems concerning (wind) Roche-lobe overflow. The BRAVE team combines expertise on the observation and theory of stellar outflows (both from hot and cool stars), the characterisation of binary systems in multiple evolutionary stages, and the theory of single and binary star evolution. Funded by the KU Leuven, one of Belgium's most prominent universities, the BRAVE project bridges the theoretical, computational, and observational expertise of four academic members of the Institute of Astronomy at KU Leuven, to build an interdisciplinary team tackling the above critical stellar physics questions with the aim to enhance the predictive power of contemporary evolution models of binary stars.
The Host Institute:
The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) of KU Leuven consists of a young and vibrant research group of some 90 scientists, engineers, and administrative staff, including 6 full-time and 3 part-time professors. The institute is an expertise centre in stellar and planetary physics and is active in several international consortia and collaborations, involving telescopes at observatories worldwide and in space. Members of IoA have access to parallel computing facilities at the Flemish Supercomputer Centre. The IoA is responsible for the organisation of the 2-year Master in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Advanced Master of Space Studies of the Faculty of Science and operates the 1.2m Mercator telescope at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma Observatory, Canary Islands. The institute has a long tradition in instrumental, observational, and theoretical studies of stellar evolution.
Post-doc applicants must hold a PhD in astrophysics or an equivalent diploma. The ideal candidate has a strong theoretical and numerical background. Expertise in radiation hydrodynamics will be viewed positively by the selection committee, but is not a requirement. Proficiency in English is required.
The selected post-docs will be offered a 2-year contract with a possible extension of 1 year. The salary will be commensurate to the standard scale for post-doctoral researchers in Belgium and will depend on the number of years of experience after PhD. It includes social and medical insurance as well as pension rights. Working hours are flexible and there is possibility to work occasionally from home. Refund of commuting expenses when using public transport or bicycle are included. The KU Leuven offers access to child care. The preferred starting date shall be between February 1st 2024 and May 1st 2024 but can be negotiated.
The post-doc will also be encouraged to take up supervision tasks and training in science and people management, science communication and grant application writing with the aim to develop a personal independent career track
Interviews will be held in January 2024 and selected candidates will be contacted at the latest by January 31, 2024.
Your application should include
For more information, please contact
Prof. Leen Decin: email (Leen.Decin@kuleuven.be)
Prof. Hugues Sana: email (Hugues.Sana@kuleuven.be)
Prof. Jon Sundqvist: email (Jon.Sundqvist@kuleuven.be)
Dr. Pablo Marchant: email (Pablo.Marchant@kuleuven.be)
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.
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