Technician in Remote Sensing for the isoTROPIC Research Group (f/m/d)

Scientific Assistance

Job Offer from June 17, 2022

The isoTROPIC Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), Jena, Germany is pleased to announce a new open vacancy for a technician/technical assistant in remote sensing in the tropics. The fulltime position will be based in Jena, Germany and will run for a period of up to 2 years with the possibility of extension.

The isoTROPIC Research Group is a permanent Max Planck Independent Research Group opened at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in 2022. Headed by Dr. Patrick Roberts, it uses multidisciplinary archaeological, historical, biochemical, palaeoenvironmental, and remote-sensing approaches to address the following questions:

  • When did human interactions with tropical forests begin and how have they varied across space and time?
  • How and when did the actions of different human societies begin to initiate regional and global feedbacks on climates, soils, and biodiversity?
  • How can observations of human history in the tropics help inform our delicate relationship with tropical forests today?

Your tasks

The successful candidate will play a central role in the Research Group and its outputs. We seek a candidate to coordinate the purchasing of a drone and LiDAR equipment, the day-to-day maintenance and up-keep of this equipment, travelling and arranging of permits for the transport and use of this equipment in different parts of the tropics, and the deployment of the equipment in the field. The candidate should be keen to assist with ambitious research projects and be able to work diligently, meet deadlines, and also assist students and researchers in practical applications of LiDAR technology.

Previous practical experience with the flying of large drones and LiDAR/remote sensing analysis is an absolute requirement. Candidates should be able to assist with:

  1. Day-to-day operation and maintenance of a drone system equipped with a state-of-the-art survey-grade LiDAR sensor, as well as GNSS ground stations.
  2. Overseeing the entire pipeline for LiDAR acquisitions, from mission planning, through acquisition and processing to advanced analytics and data storage.
  3. Supporting PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in developing drone and LiDAR skills and interpreting data.

Your qualifications


  • Practical experience in remote sensing and LiDAR
  • Practical experience in GNSS survey, ground control and geomatics
  • Practical experience in drone operation and maintenance
  • Experience in an academic/research environment
  • Commitment and responsibility while working with research material
  • Experience working in the field for extended periods of time and organizing permits
  • Strong knowledge of written and oral English


  • Knowledge of LiDAR applications to the tropics
  • Professional UAV pilot’s license
  • Previous experience as a technician
  • Interest in LiDAR data analysis, quality assurance and management
  • Knowledge of written and oral German

Our offer

We offer a unique opportunity to develop cutting edge research in the city of Jena that is renowned for its position at the intersection of Biogeochemical, Ecological, and Archaeological research. The Max Planck Society promotes these multidisciplinary connections and this position offers the candidate the possibility of making the most of such networks and to be a part of groundbreaking approaches to the utilization of archaeological datasets in the tropics. The candidate will work closely with isoTROPIC partners at the École française d'Extrême-Orient, Paris.

The position will ideally begin on the 1st of November 2022 though some flexibility in start date is possible. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply. We are also committed to encouraging diversity and actively challenging biases based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and other components of identity.

The Max Planck Society is supporting the compatibility of family and career and is certified according to the "berufundfamilie" (“job and family”) audit.

Renumeration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD), according to the candidate’s qualifications and experience up to paygroup 11. In addition, social benefits are offered as per the regulations of the German Civil Service, f.e. occupational pension and subsidies for public transport.

Your application

Please submit your application (which should include a cover letter, CV of no more than 3 pages, list of experience and publications, and any relevant certificates) by August the 31st. You are also required to submit two references which are also due by August the 31st. Please submit your application as a single pdf file in English using our application tool.

For more information, please contact .

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