First listed on: 12 August 2022

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bushfire risk monitoring using Synthetic Aperture Radar

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation.

The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in ecological/environmental or synthetic aperture radar remote sensing?
  • Want to conduct research that will improve Australia’s ability to plan for and respond to bushfires?
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

In this position you will undertake research on how to improve Australia’s ability to plan for and respond to bushfires by developing new capability in the use of satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has advantages when compared to passive optical satellite sensors because the microwave signal can penetrate smoke and, in some cases, the vegetation canopy to capture under-story burns. The SAR signal is also sensitive to the vertical structure of vegetation, providing observables that are critical to estimating fuel load, fuel connectivity, and post-burn vegetation recovery, and that are different to those obtainable from more widely used optical satellites. As part of this research, you will explore: ways to use new SAR datasets; polarimetric SAR Interferometry (PolInSAR); validation with robust 3D structural measurements from LiDAR; machine learning based classification; and implementation of these methodologies on the Open Data Cube. 

The Postdoctoral Fellow will join a cross-disciplinary team with expertise in SAR data analysis, bushfire ecology, satellite operations and the use of Earth observation to address disasters. Their research will be of high impact and interest across CSIRO, Australia and beyond, with opportunities to join national and international collaborative efforts to develop better ways of responding to bushfires with Earth observation data.

Your duties will include:

  • Carry out innovative, impactful research in the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar for bushfire planning and response.
  • Test and implement novel datasets and methods to map active fires through smoke and deliver vegetation structure information for risk and recovery assessments. 
  • Lead the use of CSIRO’s NovaSAR-1 satellite capacity share for bushfire response activities. 
  • Proactively seek opportunities to integrate research outcomes into bushfire research across CSIRO and other agencies. 
  • Represent CSIRO in international fora such at the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Working Group Disasters Wildfire Pilot.

Location:  Perth, WA (however other sites may be considered)
Salary:  AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  79944

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as ecological remote sensing, environmental remote sensing. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Programming skills and demonstrated ability to work across a range of programming and data analysis languages (e.g. Python, C or Matlab) and software environments. 
  • Experience in Earth observation data processing, particularly Synthetic Aperture Radar.
  • An understanding of basic electromagnetic wave propagation and the principles of radar remote sensing.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by 31 December 2022.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

12 September 2022, 11:00pm AEST

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