Postdoc position on “Creating bio-inspired co-evolutionary incentive systems to promote recycling, using Internet of Things technologies” in Zürich

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


100%, Zurich, fixed-term

Research at the Professorship of Computational Social Science (COSS) is focused on participatory, resilient and sustainable smart cities, 

  • bringing modeling and computer simulation of social processes and transportation phenomena together with technology, experimental, and data-driven work,
  • combining the perspectives of different scientific disciplines (e.g. social science, computer science, complexity science, transportation science, logistics, and sociophysics),
  • bridging fundamental and applied work,
  • developing digital tools to support people and studying the resulting behavior.
Job description

You will produce a simulation program demonstrating self-organizing logistic networks that become more circular and sustainable over time. 

You will create novel research breakthroughs and contribute to the ambitious ERC Advanced Investigator Grant on “Co-Evolving City Life” (CoCi) in subject areas connected to smart cities and digital societies. Your research focus will be on “Sustainable Cities and Coordination”. Given recent digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (sensor and communication networks), Artificial Intelligence, and blockchain technology, one can expect that production, logistics, and even waste, are becoming increasingly smart. Ideally, you will study how the convergence of these technologies can be used to fuel new approaches towards more sustainable production and logistics in an urban context. 

The research question we would like to answer is, how the approach of self-organized and federated, learning, networked multi-agent systems can be used to create socio-economic incentives that would promote the emergence of closed loops in a material supply network and could thereby boost the formation of a circular and sharing economy. We want to study, how a multi-dimensional real-time measurement, feedback and coordination system would have to be designed and operated in order to reach this goal. 

Together with our team, you will work on the mechanisms and effects of multi-dimensional real-time coordination, perform related agent-based simulations, and work towards demonstrating the approach in an application project. It will be great to couple the simulation program with a sensor-based environment (Raspberry Pi or Arduino, or other) that responds to measurements, flexibly adapts, and self-organizes. You will be the key researcher addressing these challenges or a subset of them (please specify), collaborating with a highly motivated team.

Your profile
  • You should have an excellent research background in several of the following areas (please specify): agent-based modelling, complexity science, particularly self-organization based on real-time feedback, and bio-inspired approaches involving co-evolutionary processes.
  • Excellent scientific and computational skills, English language skills, social skills, and international experience are required.
  • Experience with Internet of Things technologies would be a plus.
  • We expect you to appreciate collaborating in a diverse, interdisciplinary and multicultural team to jointly and systematically address grand scientific challenges.
Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

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 (single PDF file) by the 31st of January 2023:

  • Short motivational letter
  • CV
  • Detailed exam documents (A-levels, bachelor, master and PhD diploma)
  • Publication list
  • 2 to 3 letters of recommendation

Job interviews are expected to take place around February 2023. The possible contract would probably start about 2 months later.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Information about the COSS team can be found on . For information about the ERC Project on Co-Evolving City Life see . Questions about the position should be directed to our office manager, email: (no application documents).

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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