PhD and Scientific Assistant positions in Digital Product Passports and Digital Tools for Circular Construction in Zürich

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100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Chair of Circular Engineering for Architecture (CEA) is seeking a highly motivated and qualified individual to fill a PhD position in the field of digital product passports (DPPs) and digital tools for inventory and tracking and tracing for circular economy in the construction sector. The successful candidate will join a dynamic research team working on innovative approaches to advance circular construction practices through digital technologies. These positions offer a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of tools and strategies that promote circular management of building components and projects, enabling a more sustainable and regenerative built environment.

Project background

The selected candidates will be involved in developing data templates, Building Information Modelling (BIM) workflows and other tools for automated generation of DPPs and building components inventory, as well as a digital and physical tracking and tracing system. The project operates at the intersection of civil engineering, architecture and computer science.

Job description

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Development of both theoretical concepts and data templates for DPPs for circular construction, together with industry and research consortium partners in Switzerland
  • Exploration of implementation possibilities for BIM workflows for DPPs generation in new and existing construction projects
  • Development of a digital inventory tool for existing buildings using scanning technologies and machine learning
  • Validation and testing of proposed and developed solutions in pilot projects
  • Engagement and collaboration with stakeholders such as construction companies, standardization bodies, consultants, and other industry partners to promote the adoption of the developed data template and tools
  • Active participation in research activities, including publishing scientific papers and presenting findings at conferences and workshops
  • Supervision of Master, and/or Bachelor students
Your profile

To be considered for these positions, you should meet the following qualifications:

  • Masters in architecture, civil engineering with strong IT skills, or computer science with knowledge of the built environment, or related fields
  • Possess strong research skills with an understanding of circular economy practices in the construction industry
  • Knowledge and experience in data analysis and database management, as well as emerging technologies applied to the construction sector, such as BIM, scanning and machine learning
  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple tasks and prioritize effectively, while also fostering interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Strong communication and writing skills in English, enabling effective collaboration and the preparation of scientific publications and reports 
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. Ability to work with industry partners in German is a plus
  • Ability to work in a team and together with industry partners
  • Take initiative, be results-oriented, organized, and creative
Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

Joining our research teams offers a stimulating and collaborative environment, with a competitive salary and opportunities for professional growth and interaction with international experts in the field of circular construction, and computer science. The positions are offered on a fixed-term basis. The initial contract duration for a PhD is 1.5 years, for a scientific assistant 1 year with a possibility of extension based on performance evaluation (four-year for the PhD position)

We value diversity
In line with , 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.

Applications are only accepted through the online portal and should contain the following documents (make sure your last name is on all the documents and in the file name). Only PDF format will be accepted. Anything submitted in other formats will result in the rejection of your application. Any application that is not complete will not be considered.

  • Cover letter (max 1 page)
  • CV including a list of publications
  • A short position paper to show how you will address the topic (max 800 words, excluding bibliography) in PDF format
  • Academic transcripts/list of courses completed or ongoing, including grades and ranking in PDF format (please upload a single PDF)
  • Name, phone number, and email address of two referees in PDF
  • A vimeo or youtube link to a 2-minute video explaining how you would address research on digital technologies for circular construction (please upload a PDF with the link written in full)

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

For further questions please contact us via email at (no applications). More information about the Circular Engineering for Architecture Lab in the Institute of Construction & Infrastructure Management (IBI) within the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (D-BAUG) is on . Any emails that are not addressed to regarding the position will not be answered.

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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