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Postdoctoral Position - Building-scale 3D Printing of Sustainable Mineral Foams in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, temporary

The research group Digital Building Technologies at the Institute for Technology in Architecture (ITA), Department of Architecture, investigates large scale additive manufacturing of sustainable foams for insulated building elements in collaboration with the ETH Spinoff FenX AG as part of an Innosuisse Innovation Project.

Project background

Progress in the building industry considerably accelerated during the last decade due to the pressing environmental challenges related to global warming, availability of resources and population growth. Key roles in this development are novel sustainable high-performance building materials and advanced digital fabrication methods. Large-scale 3D printing as one of these methods offers the advantage of creating context-specific geometrically complex building elements without the need for formwork. This enables increased levels of functional integration and reduced material consumption through optimized shapes.

This project investigates how to 3D print with novel sustainable foam materials, produced from industrial waste which have the potential to become high-performance, non-flammable insulators for future buildings. The combination of this innovative insulation material and cutting-edge digital manufacturing can widen the design-space for architecture and can open up a new path towards low-cost, custom and eco-friendly buildings.

Job description

We offer a full-time Postdoc or Scientific Assistant position, starting by May 2020 (can be negotiated), for a duration of 1 year. You will manage the material development of the research & innovation project with the goal to generate a market-oriented technology. Your responsibilities include the design of mineral foam formulation with controlled rheology for direct ink writing (layer-by-layer extrusion) and the characterization and testing of foam properties (rheology, microscopy, mechanical strength). You will conduct 1:1 prototyping of 3D printed structurally-insulating façade elements. You will work in an interdisciplinary team together with architects, engineers and material scientists with a focus on sustainable building materials developed at ETH Zurich and FenX. You will be able to use unique facilities at ETH Zurich, in particular the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory ().

Your profile

Candidates should hold a Ph.D. in materials science, civil engineering or a related field. He or she should have experience and interest in ceramic construction materials, rheology and thorough knowledge of laboratory work and passion for digital fabrication, architecture and the built environment.

Candidates should feel comfortable to work in highly interdisciplinary teams. A fluent level of English is mandatory, German skills are welcome. Possessing strong internal and external communication skills are required for this position.

ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: CV, Research Statement and a summary of the three most relevant related achievements. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the research group DBT can be found on the website, further information about FenX AG can be found under . For additional information, please contact Mario Guala from Digital Building Technologies via email guala@arch.ethz.ch (no application).

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