Research Associate (postdoc) in urban modelling, spatial data analytics and machine learning (f/m) – Ref 21-18

  • Location: Campus Belval , 11, Porte des Sciences, L – 4366 Esch-Sur-Alzette , Luxembourg
  • Deadline for applications: September 3rd, 2021
  • Full-time/40 hours per week, 100% based at LISER
  • Fixed-term contract : 2 years
  • Work contract at LISER, department of Urban Development and Mobility (UDM)
  • Earliest start date: 1st October 2021 (or soon thereafter)


LISER is looking for a highly motivated Research Associate in urban modelling and spatial data analytics. This position is part of the Sustainable Residential Densification (SusDens) project funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and led by Dr. Hichem Omrani. The Research Associate will play a key role in developing high-quality research in land use/cover change dynamics and urban sustainability at LISER, in collaboration with an international academic project partner (University of Liège). The project aims to (i) identify significant driving factors explaining residential densification over time, in different urban settings; (ii) simulate potential residential densification, at the city scale, through vector-based cellular automata; (iii) study the manifold positive and negative effects of residential densification on the economy (land values), the environment (i.e., urban heat island), and the society (i.e., perception of the well-being of citizens).

Your Role

As a member of the department of Urban Development and Mobility (UDM) and in collaboration with the PI of the project – Dr Hichem Omrani, Professor Jacques Teller (Professor of Urban Planning at University of Liege) and researchers at LISER, you will be actively collaborating in the SusDens project, and especially in charge of the development and application of a residential change and densification simulation model mainly based on cellular automata and machine learning.

Your tasks will be the following:

• contribute to and/or lead on the production of research outputs primarily in the topic of residential densification and its socio-economic and environmental impacts;

• handle a large amount of data, and conduct statistical analysis;

• review and critique relevant literature on the topic;

• contribute to the development of a tool on the simulation of residential densification;

• potentially help develop a virtual reality laboratory to assess citizens’ perception with regard to residential densification;

• write or contribute to scientific publications and reports;

• disseminate research findings, including public engagement outside academia;

• make presentations at conferences or exhibit work in other appropriate events;

• help shape the current and future research programme in LISER in the field of urban modelling research, by identifying opportunities for new research;

• contribute to the preparation and writing of grant proposals.

Your Profile

• Ph.D. in urban modelling, computer science, or a related field (with quantitative focus);

• Strong quantitative, statistical/programming skills and knowledge of relevant programming environments (e.g. R, Python, Matlab);

• Experience in land-use change modelling, simulation models and/or machine learning is required;

• Experience and a strong interest in interdisciplinary research;

• The ability to build an international scientific network, develop collaboration with stakeholders from and beyond academia, and collaborate closely with co-workers is considered an important asset;

• Fluency in English (speaking and writing);

• Knowledge of French, German or Luxembourgish is considered an asset.

We offer

• A dynamic, international, growing and well-equipped research environment with good working conditions and stimulating work environment;

• Resources for the participation in international meetings and conferences and hosting of collaborating visitors;

• Internationally competitive remuneration.


LISER is a publicly funded research institute located in Luxembourg and dedicated to applied empirical research in economic, social and spatial sciences. Multi- and interdisciplinarity is a key element for stimulating scientific innovation. The Institute attracts top researchers from all over the world and high-level student training is a vibrant part of the Institute’s activities. The Institute‘s staff consists of about 180 employees (including a survey and data center), more than 50% of the staff being researchers, mainly from the fields of economics, sociology, and geography.

The institute is located on the Belval campus in the south of Luxembourg which hosts the University of Luxembourg and a substantial part of the country’s publicly funded research institutes, i.e. LISER, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), a cross-national data center, the Luxembourg institutes of Health (LIH) and of Science and Technology (LIST).

About the Community

Luxembourg, with its > 600,000 inhabitants, is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and provides a stimulating mixture of modern culture and tradition. In addition to excellent health, education (public, private and high level international schools) and recreational services, the community offers a rich variety of cultural activities, museums, music, art and theatre. The official languages are French, German and Luxemburgish. Information for foreign researchers interested in Luxembourg research is accessible via the national EURAXESS platform.

Application process

Please submit your complete application through our online system: before September 3rd, 2021:

• Curriculum Vitae ;

• Letter of application outlining applicant’s expertise including a short (half page) description of a challenging research idea to be developed at LISER in relation with the SusDens project (2 pages max) ;

• Copy of last diploma ;

• Two letters of reference (to be uploaded with the application documents or sent separately to [email protected]).

Deadline for applications: September 3rd, 2021

All correspondence should be in English, please note that incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

For project-related questions, please contact Dr. Hichem Omrani: [email protected] (no applications)

For administrative matters, please contact: [email protected]

LISER is an equal opportunity Employer

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