Prof. Dr. Bert Vermeersen

Prof. Dr. Bert Vermeersen

I obtained an MSc in theoretical astronomy and a PhD in solid-earth geophysics, both at Utrecht University. After postdoc positions in Bologna (ESA Fellowship), Stuttgart (von Humbolt Fellowship) and Milan (ASI Fellowship) I moved to TU Delft in 1999. Gradually my earth-oriented space-based geophysical work, e.g. as member of the Mission Advisory Group of ESA’s GOCE mission, became complemented with planetary sciences. In November 2014 I was appointed Professor of the new Chair of Planetary Exploration of TU Delft. The Chair is partly at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (Department of Space Engineering, 0.7 fte) and partly at the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 0.1 fte). Since 2012 I am also part-time researcher at the Estuarine & Delta Systems (EDS) department of the NWO-I Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ). At EDS I established the NIOZ Sea Level Centre in 2017.

In keywords: icy moons, geodynamics, JUICE, PRIDE, GALA

Research: My research focuses on the dynamics of the moons of the four giant planets of our Solar System.  The dynamics concerns both viscoelastic modelling of the solid parts of these moons and geophysical oceanography of their internal oceans, notably Jupiter moon Europa and Saturn moon Enceladus. The icy moon ocean modelling is done in close connection with my NIOZ researcher position. The models are connected to interplanetary mission observations, such as Galileo, Cassini-Huygens and ESA’s JUICE mission (to be launched to Jupiter in 2022).

Education: I am the course manager for Planetary Sciences I, one of the three core courses of the Spaceflight MSc of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. I also teach in the Planetary Sciences II profile course. At the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences I teach the solid-earth part of the MSc-course on Physics of the Earth and Atmosphere. As member of the Educational Management Team I am the BSc-1 Coordinator of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

For possible thesis topics, please have a look at the Brightspace page of the MSc AE profile Space Exploration.