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Programs Aerospace Engineering PhD to Astrophysics Postdoc

  1. Jul 24, 2012 #1
    Hi, I'm from the UK and I'm in my final year of an aerospace engineering PhD which focuses on civil aircraft and engine design. For some time I have felt that engineering is too restrictive in terms of the science available to use; due to it's applied nature and safety restrictions within the aviation industry. I have recently been investigating MagnetoHydroDynamics (MHD) which has helped broaden my understanding of plasma, electromagnetic fields and fluid dynamics. From here my thirst for scientific understanding has dominated my interest in application/design.

    My questions are: Would it be possible to be accepted onto a Postdoc in astrophysics, given my indirect PhD subject? Otherwise would I need to apply for a PhD in astrophysics first? Or would there be some other method of arriving at an astrophysics Postdoc i.e. low paid postdoc position?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2012 #2
    It's going to be essentially impossible for you to get a post-doc that requires experience that is vastly different than your Ph.D. However, your job would be to convince someone that your Ph.D. experience is useful to them. Off hand, you might want to look for post-docs in places where they are building instruments and spacecraft or in which they are doing computational fluid dynamics.

    Also you might look for aeronautical engineering jobs that are in places that are close to where astrophysicists work (i.e. JPL or Southwestern Research Institute). If you have numerical background, you might look for places where there are numerical institutes.

    Google for "astrophysics rumor mill" and look at the American Astronomical Society jobs register.
  4. Jul 25, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the speedy reply. I'll explore this direction and hopefully find a neat path. I'm based in the UK and preferably would work here, so my options are a little more limited. However I'm sure this route would be better than taking a 2nd PhD.

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