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Postdoc position on modelling the implications from a transition to net-zero on air quality in Dübendorf

EMPA (European Master of Public Administration Consortium) is a network of European schools, that offer master programs in public administration.


Project background 
The Swiss Center of Excellence on Net-Zero Emissions (SCENE) is a joint initiative of the four research institutions Empa, PSI, WSL and EAWAG of the ETH domain, together with partners at ETH Zurich and EPFL. The initiative addresses the challenges of the transition to a net-zero society in six strategic areas, including aspects of avoiding, removing, monitoring, and assessing GHG emissions. 

Within this initiative, we will study the impact of a transition to net-zero on air quality levels in Europe and Switzerland using the atmospheric chemistry and transport model ICON-ART. We will develop scenarios and emission inputs for the years 2030 and 2050, consistent with Switzerland's energy strategy and European projections. We will then study the corresponding impacts on air quality with a focus on ozone and reactive nitrogen compounds, which are expected to change significantly in response to the electrification of mobility and other mitigation measures. 

Your tasks 
  • Translate Swiss and European energy and emission scenarios for the years 2030 and 2050 into gridded emission maps (based on existing gridded inventories and category-specific emission projections). 
  • Set up the new model system ICON-ART for air pollution simulations over Europe and for a nested domain covering Switzerland at higher resolution. 
  • Perform simulations for current day conditions (2018 or 2020) and for two scenarios 2030 and 2050. 
  • Extensively evaluate the model against ground-based and satellite observations and assess the impact of net zero pathways on future air pollution levels. 
  • Manage our project tasks and collaborate with the project partners, mainly at PSI. 
  • Publish results in scientific journals and present your work at international conferences.
Required skills 
  • PhD degree in environmental sciences, geosciences, physics, or a related discipline. 
  • Experience in atmospheric modelling and high performance computing. 
  •  Strong programming skills, preferably Python, Fortran, C. 
  • Fluency in English is required; basic knowledge of German is an advantage. 

The position is for 3 years and is available immediately (start preferably not later than April 2023). Working place will be Empa in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Applications received before 31 Dec 2022 will receive full consideration.
For further information about the position please contact Prof. Dr Dominik Brunner  and visit our websites and

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, David Heusser, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

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