PhD Course

PhD Course

Educational goals

The main purpose of the STMS Course is the formation of PhD's able to perform research in fields related to science, technology and measurements for space, with a broad view of their problems. 
The PhD students usually operate within national or supranational projects, often in collaboration with leading international research groups. They actively participate in technological or theoretical or experimental activities in the framework of research topics of interest in the Course, so acquiring extensive and interdisciplinary knowledge.

The educational process of the Course enables students to acquire specific skills that can best be used either in the perspective of an academic career, or for a position in research institutes or industrial sectors. The formation of the Course, the acquired knowledge and the various contacts with industries may also stimulate the potential capacity of the student to induce an impact on the territory, inducing the growth of high-tech spin-offs, and improving the capacity of local industry to compete in a wider national and international scenario. This interdisciplinary approach is at the basis of the formation of PhD's capable of managing scientific research and / or industrial programs at a leadership level. 
The PhD Course, which derives from merging two previous PhD courses ("Space Sciences and Technologies" and "Mechanical Measurements for Engineering" has two different Curricula: " Mechanical Measurements for Engineering and Space" (MMIS) and "Sciences and Technologies for Aeronautics and Satellite Applications" (STASA). 
Examples of skills that can be acquired respectively in the two Curricula are the following:

MMIS:
- Analysis and definition of measuring methodologies and data processing
- Functional analysis of instrumentation and representation through general theory
- Definition of methods to evaluate the uncertainty
- Innovative procedures for measuring by means of non conventional methods
- Measurements of time variable phenomena with on-line data processing and industrial process monitoring
- Methods to validate interpretative models in industrial and clinical diagnostics
- Industrial installation and equipment testing with the design of optimal measuring system
- Measuring techniques in clinical diagnostics
- Design and setup for laboratory experiments simulating harsh environmental conditions
- Mechanical system testing; development, acceptance and qualification tests
- Design and set up of measuring and testing devices for opto-mechanical and ultrasonic instrumentations

STASA:
- System Engineering and Mission Analysis
- Structural and thermal analysis of Space Systems
- Advanced Robotics; Mechanisms and Tethers in Space
- Dynamics of Space Flights and Attitude Control
- Space Navigation
- Photon Detectors from soft-X rays to near infrared
- Optics and Scientific Instruments for Space
- Physics of Planets, Moons, Comets, Asteroids
- Mission analysis for Universe and Earth Observations
- Interaction between Spacecraft and Space Environment
- Neurosciences and comparative psychology for space applications

Admission Requirements 
To be admitted to a PhD Course you must hold a Magister Degree or a Master, or an equivalent foreign qualification. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the STMS PhD Course is not required a particular type of degree: however, as the research areas of the course are typically a scientific / engineering, a master's degree in the fields of engineering or science allows to understand more quickly and effectively topics covered during the lessons and developed in the research. 
The selection for access to doctorate courses takes place by public competition: the Call is published annually by the University of Padua and is available on the relative website.

Training Project 
The Course has a three years duration. The PhD title is obtained having acquired 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits, including abroad periods of study and stages, and having completed an original research activity. 
Credits are divided in the following way: 
- 30 ECTS credits in three years for education: this includes lectures, courses and seminars, plus hours of study, participation to schools, courses and congresses, and generally all the activities foreseen in Art. 19 of the University Rule document< 
- 150 ECTS credits for research, culminating in the PhD thesis. 
The training program provided by the PhD Course is defined over the three years, but does not follow a rigid schedule. In fact, because of the remarkable cultural diversity of the STMS doctoral students, the training provided also depend on the cultural background of each; moreover, we will try, as far as possible, to adapt it to the objectives of the student's research. 
It is strongly suggested that doctoral students spend a period abroad, with a maximum limit of 1.5 years, over the three years. This period should be spent at qualified scientific institutions (universities, research centers, ...). The purposes of this period must be a further learning opportunities and an improvement in obtaining the research results.

Career opportunities 
The occupational opportunities of STMS PhD's is below distinguished between the two Curricula. The available information shows that these PhD's obtain job positions in a relative short term; some PhD's were hired by the European aerospace industries through "head hunters" who sought particularly versatile profiles of high technology training. 
MMIS PhD's are mainly involved in the design, construction and qualification of instruments for the measurement and analysis of mechanical and thermal properties, finding a wide employability in the context of research institutes. In the context of applied research, the skills of the PhD in MMIS are required in industries of mechanical instrumentation, thermal and opto-mechanics, and information services company, with particular regard to the aerospace industry. 
The typical types of job positions for STASA PhD's can be summarized as follows: positions at universities, aerospace industries, space agencies (national or foreign) and associated laboratories, INAF Astronomical Observatories, companies where skills are required of optics and software systems, foreign laboratories, startup of (or participation in) small advanced technologies business company.