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Postdoctoral position on Energy System Modelling and Optimization in Zürich

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100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Research Center for Energy Networks (Forschungsstelle Energienetze – ) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich () acts as a bridge between academic research, industrial needs and social issues related to energy policy, shaping the transition to a more sustainable, reliable and cost-effective future energy system, by providing utilities, grid operators, industrial associations, and federal institutions with a technology-neutral and independent quantitative analysis.

The EEH - Power Systems Laboratory () is part of the Energy Transmission and High Voltage Laboratory () of the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering () of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (). The scientific field of the Power Systems Laboratory comprises the analysis and design of electric and integrated energy systems including their planning, design and operation.

Within the context of the RESAIL project, which has been granted funding by the ETH Future Mobility research program (), a postdoctoral researcher will be hired for a two-year duration. The researcher will be working closely with senior researchers from FEN and with employees from the Energy department of the Swiss Federal Railways () towards the objectives of the RESAIL project.

Project background

The objective of this project is to identify ways for the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to contribute to the Swiss energy strategy while, in parallel, ensuring that SBB will be able to serve its demand economically and reliably. Specific focus will be given to the risks stemming from the so-called “winter gap”, i.e., the anticipated potential lack of energy adequacy during the winter period in future energy systems dominated by variable renewable sources. A set of technology options that SBB can pursue will be investigated in a “sector coupled” approach, thus allowing it to appropriately consider the synergies among energy production (PV, hydro, wind), energy storage (batteries, hydro dams, hydrogen, synthetic fuels) and energy demand sectors (e.g., the electricity demand of SBB and heat demand of a city). The outcome of this project will make up a very valuable input to SBB, to be utilized in devising its mid/long-term energy strategy and in setting up follow-up projects and pilots.

Job description

You will perform independent self-driven research towards successfully meeting the objectives of the RESAIL project. You will work in close collaboration with researchers from FEN, using and expanding quantitative analysis modelling and optimization tools developed by FEN researchers. In addition, you will regularly interact with employees from SBB, to receive data and information, agree on the project directions and modelling needs and present results. Project results will also need to be presented to a project SteCo, while you will be expected to lead the writing of reports and scientific papers resulting from the project work.

Your profile
  • PhD degree in engineering (preferably electrical or mechanical), preferably in the design and optimization of energy systems (or electric power systems)
  • Considerable experience in mathematical optimization (emphasis on adequate modelling, and problem formulation)
  • Strong programming skills
  • Experience in modelling and analysis of electric power systems and/or energy systems
  • Excellent knowledge of English
  • Good command of German is a plus
  • Strong analytical skills and self-driven personality
  • Excellent presentation skills and excellent skills in technical/scientific writing
Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer
  • Working as a member of a highly motivated team of scientists
  • Working in an international environment of established experts
  • Opportunity to contribute to the Swiss energy transition
  • Opportunity to make scientific publications
  • Two Year contract 
We value diversity
In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.
Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Research statement
  • CV
  • Names and email addresses of at least two people for reference letters
  • Copies of degree certificates and the associated grades

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 andcan be found on our websites. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Adamantios Marinakis from the Research Center for Energy Networks (FEN) via e-mail: (no applications).

About ETH Zürich
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.

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