Type dienstverband:
Internship and graduation project
Uren per week:
Fulltime – 40

Internship | Determination of background and local contribution on particulate matter measurements

About this position

Air pollution is a global problem resulting in 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016. Because of the adverse impacts of air pollution on human health, research has been focusing more and more on the investigation of personal exposure. Various studies show a more direct link between impacts on human health and measurements of personal exposure to air pollution rather than to background concentrations. The background concentrations represent the concentrations in the atmosphere at any location which is not directly affected by the local emission. Considering the above the separation of the air pollution in background and local component can provide useful information for municipalities to take action, give the inhabitants themshelves more insight of their own influence on local air quality and also get direct estimates of personal exposure on local sources.

What will be your role?

In TNO, we can obtain an estimation of the different components using labelling model simulations from the LOTOS-EUROS chemical transport model (TOPAS - Home (tno.nl)). However the model simulations many times can underestimate the actual concentrations. For this reason we are further using in situ measurements to improve the simulations through a data assimilation technique in the model. The assimilation of the measurements in the model performs a comparison between measurements and simulations through an Ensemble Kalman Filter analyses. It is a very essential part of the research to also separate the input measurements in local and background contribution. By doing so we can make a separate comparison between local simulations and local measurements and between background measurements and background simulations. The intern will have to investigate different methods of separating the measurements in their distinct components (using Fourier analysis, machine learning or other time-series analysis methods etc) and validate the different methods. The results can be compared then with the respective model simulations. This is a very essential part of the work done in the team because we will be able to provide improved information on how people are affected by air pollution and which sources are important in different regions.

The team that the intern will join consists of people with experience on air quality topics and modeling as well as many enthusiastic junior scientist. The environment is international and very friendly to all new people joining.

What we expect from you

  • Programming skills in R or python, handling of large data sets or machine learning studies.
  • High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving.
  • Interest in air quality.
  • Ability to work autonomously and good social skills to interact with the team and get the information you need.
  • You need to be affiliated with a university during the internship for eligibility.

What you'll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Students must reside in the Netherlands before the start and also throughout the internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.