C. (Christian) Siemes

C. (Christian) Siemes



I studied geodesy at the University of Bonn in Germany, where I received in April 2004 my diploma in engineering (Dipl.-Ing.) and an award from the German Association of Surveying (DVW – Deutscher Verein für Vermessungswesen) for good and fast studies. I stayed at the University of Bonn to conduct research in satellite geodesy. After obtaining my doctorate in April 2008, I moved to TU Delft to continue my research in satellite geodesy as a postdoctoral researcher. In January 2010, I started working as a research fellow for the European Space Agency at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. In November 2011, my research fellowship was transformed into a contractor position at the RHEA Group, where I continued to support the European Space Agency on the GOCE and Swarm missions, and contributed to the development of future gravity mission concepts. In September 2019, I took on a new challenge as an assistant professor at TU Delft.


Since the beginning of my doctorate, my research focused on satellite missions dedicated to measuring the gravity field of our planet. Models of the static part of the gravity field find applications in geodesy and allow to derive geostrophic ocean currents when augmented with satellite altimetry, whereas models of the time-variable part are related to phenomena such as melting ice sheets, ground water depletion and sea level rise. Due to my long involvement in the GOCE and Swarm missions, I gained extensive expertise in operational data processing, covering the full range from processing raw instrument measurements to deriving higher-level data products. I also supported flight operations by preparing satellite maneuvers for the calibration of the on-board instruments and conceived methods for designing orbit constellations for future gravity field missions. I have always been working at the interface between science and space industry, e.g. by coordinating data quality working groups, in which scientists and instrument providers work together to improve the quality of the data products that the European Space Agency publishes. Over the years, I evolved into a specialist for space accelerometers that can also be used for inferring thermosphere density and wind speed, which is my new field of research.

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