Unit Manager – Environmental Sensing and Modelling (M/F)

Reference : ERIN-2020-009

Type: Researcher
Contract type: Permanent contract
Place: Belvaux



As part of a Research and Technology Organization (RTO), the work of the Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department tackles some of the major environmental challenges our society is facing today, such as climate change mitigation, ecosystem resilience, sustainable energy systems, the efficient use of renewable resources, and environmental pollution prevention and control. To this end, the mission of the ERIN department is:

(1) To conduct impact-driven scientific research and development, as well as technological innovation
(2) To support companies in the implementation of new environmental regulations and advise governments on determining sustainable policies for the future, with the objectives of:

  • Analysing, managing and exploiting sustainable resources (water, air, soil, renewable energy, bioresources)
  • Reducing the environmental impact of human consumption and production activities

The selected candidate will lead the Environmental Sensing and Modelling (ENVISION) RDI unit (https://www.list.lu/en/research/erin/environmental-sensing-and-modelling/). The Environmental Sensing and Modelling unit carries out impact-driven research, geared towards monitoring, forecasting and predicting environmental systems in a changing world. An interdisciplinary team of around 55 scientists, engineers, post-docs and PhD candidates supports the public and private sectors by developing new process understanding, alongside new models, tools and technologies – operating at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

The Unit is structured into three research groups:

  • The Catchment and Eco-hydrology group focuses on pressing questions related to (i) how eco-hydrosystems collect, store, mix and release water, solutes and matter, (ii) new environmental monitoring tools operating at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales, and (iii) forecasting and predicting our water in the future, as expressed through floods, drinking water availability and water for agriculture or ecosystem services.
  • The Agro-environmental Systems group investigates the bio-geophysical functioning of agro-environmental systems using a holistic approach, in order to better understand and manage the interactions of agriculture and natural resources under increasing societal demands and climate change.
  • The Remote Sensing and Natural Resources Modelling group leverages remote sensing data obtained by multiple and complementary sensors installed on spaceborne and airborne platforms, together with in-situ monitoring, to produce information on the status of natural resources from local to global scales, with unprecedented accuracy and spatio-temporal resolution.

The Unit relies on a departmental platform – comprising state-of-the-art laboratories and field infrastructure – for chemical, biological and environmental analyses (https://www.list.lu/en/institute/rd-infrastructures/environmental-research-and-technology/). Available resources include analytical chemistry facilities, isotope extraction and analysis laboratories, a mechatronics workshop for sensor development, programming and calibration, and a fleet of sensor systems for airborne remote sensing applications. The Observatory for Climate and Environment operates a dense hydro-climatological monitoring network in Luxembourg – in close cooperation with public authorities – spanning a wide range of clean and mixed geological, topographical and land use settings.




Responsibilities and missions

The Unit Manager is responsible for the overall strategy definition and implementation, management, coordination and performance of the RDI activities of the Unit in line with the overall departmental strategy.
She/he will have to define the Unit’s multi-year strategic roadmap and ensure its effective implementation within the Unit.
The Unit Manager reports directly to the Director of the ERIN Department and works in close collaboration with her/his team of Group Leaders to further develop the Unit, and strengthen the impact of its research outcomes on society.

The Unit Manager shall create and maintain a harmonious work environment, fostering a constant generation of ideas and innovative research avenues geared towards finding solutions to complex and pressing environmental issues. She/he will ensure good collaboration with her/his managers and foster teamwork amongst employees and managers, as well as find relevant synergies with other research groups/partners including industrial ones. She/he shall also ensure that resources and skills are well distributed within the teams and that teams are well guided and work together to the highest possible standards.

Strategy definition and implementation

  • Define and propose in collaboration with the teams, an RDI strategy for the Unit, aligned with the department’s strategy and with LIST’s missions as an RTO.
  • Translate the approved strategy through the drafting and implementation of:

    • a short, mid and long-term business plan for the Unit
    • an ambitious multi-year research programme and an appropriate funding plan
    • a valorization strategy of scientific knowledge and technologies geared towards the industrial and/or public sector.

  • Ensure the implementation of the work plan at all levels of the Unit.
  • Develop and maintain a pipeline of innovative products and services, transferable to the private and public sectors.
  • Represent the RDI Unit externally in line with the Department’s communication strategy.
  • Develop relevant external collaborations, partnerships and networks.

Team management

  • Lead and stimulate a team of experienced managers; work with them to create a stimulating and motivating work environment within the Unit.
  • Be hierarchically responsible for the Unit and assume the operational responsibility of the Unit’s human resources (support managers, set challenging objectives together, advise managers within the Unit in their career development, be a decisive actor in the Unit’s salary review process, etc.).
  • Appraise Group Leaders, promote personal development amongst teams. Ensure that personal development plans are effectively implemented within the individual teams.
  • Work closely with Group Leaders, involve them and rely on them to meet the Unit’s challenges.
  • Be an inspirational leader by living up to the highest standards in research and research valorization, and people and resources management.
  • Initiate collaborations with other research streams; in this context, identify and develop the relevant synergies.

Unit administration

  • Ensure the financial follow-up of the Unit’s performances.
  • Make sure that portfolios of associated projects and activities related to the Unit are properly managed.
  • Propose and implement Capex investments.
  • Be responsible for the overall scientific and technological outcome of the Unit.
  • Represent the Unit, promote its staff and sponsor their achievements internally and externally.

Besides these priority responsibilities and missions, the Unit Manager may continue to build her/his scientific and technological knowledge and directly contribute to projects relying on his/her high level of expertise.





  • Hold a PhD degree in an environmental sensing and modelling related discipline

Required seniority

  • Have at least 10 years of relevant professional experience in environmental research and innovation, within an academic or industrial RDI environment


  • Have a strong scientific track record and research brand in her/his field of expertise
  • Have a solid and proven understanding of both the industrial and academic domains, have strong experience in building relationships with private partners aligned with institutional interests. Previous experience in an RTO is an asset
  • Have strong team management experience, especially in an RDI environment
  • Have proven experience in the acquisition and management of collaborative projects with industry and competitive international projects
  • Demonstrate proven experience as a Principal Investigator in the acquisition and implementation of multi-year RDI and product development projects
  • Demonstrate strong experience in developing innovative products, tools and services and bringing new technological solutions, processes or software tools to the market
  • Have a proven high-level scientific and technological track record related to one of the three research groups of the Unit she/he leads
  • Possess a sound experience in valorizing scientific and technological results (contract research, patents, licences)


  • Have an excellent command of English
  • Good knowledge of at least one of the official languages of the country (French, German or Luxembourgish)


Candidates interested in the above position can apply online on our website www.list.lu
The application file should include:

  • A CV
  • A motivation letter
  • The names of two or three referees
  • A list of publications, invited talks, patents, PhD supervisions and granted projects
  • Any other document that you deem relevant to your application


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Prof. Dr Lucien HOFFMANN
Prof. Dr Lucien HOFFMANN

Director of Environmental Research and Innovation department