Postdoc in Building and Occupant centered control to increase the flexibility of the energy system

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 06 Sep 2022

Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

The Urban Energy Systems Laboratory develops models and concepts for the planning and operation decentralized energy system technologies based on renewable energy and innovative districts, includ-ing prototypes and demonstration plants. To strengthen our scientific team we are looking for a

Postdoc in Building and Occupant centered control to increase the flexibility of the energy system


You will join a large-scale project where the aim is to better understand the role of end users of energy on the energy system and vice versa. From there, the project aims to develop methods to make the energetic flexibility of buildings (used by energy system aware users) more transparent and usable. Based on data-driven occupant centered approaches and user interventions the energetic flexibility potential of users shall be quantified in real life testbeds (i.e. the Empa NEST demonstrator) and full-scale living labs (i.e. parts of the city of Winterthur, Sion or Lugano). 

You will have the freedom to execute your research ideas in close collaboration with our team and our external scientific and industry partners. You will support the dissemination of research findings across the community, which includes collaborating with other lab members and institutes and publishing in scientific journals and conferences. As a co-lead of a work package, you will coordinate transdisciplinary activities in various task around the topic of "Smart Energy Users" 

Your Tasks: 


  • Develop a framework for data-driven end user integrated quantification of energetic flexibility potential for building control applications 
  • Coordinate research activities in a transdisciplinary context 
  • Present your results in peer-reviewed publications and at international conferences 
  • Support the lab and contribute to proposals related to the research field 
  • Develop your own ideas around the research area Supervise MSc students and 
  • Co-supervise PhD students

Your Profile: 


  • PhD in a relevant discipline such as engineering/computing/mathematics/control theory 
  • Good overview on building energy systems 
  • Willing to expand your research and knowledge in the field of digitalized energy systems and occupant centered control. 
  • Applied experience in buildings and energy systems simulation and control (not only courses visited) 
  • Enjoy discussing ideas with colleagues and collaborators from different backgrounds and thrive in a challenging and transdisciplinary environment. 
  • Experience in using Python is preferable 
  • Scientific track record with publications in related fields/topics 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are mandatory, German language skills are a strong plus 
  • Knowledge of behavioral studies or user integration are beneficial 
  • Experience and interest in demonstrating developments in real life testbeds. 

We offer a stimulating, international and collaborative research environment at a leading research institution with an excellent infrastructure and a broad interdisciplinary surrounding. As an institution of the ETH Domain, we offer good employment conditions and plenty of opportunities for your professional development. The workplace is Dübendorf, close to Zürich. The contract will be initially limited to two years with a possibility of extension. The position is available upon agreement.

For further information about the position please contact Philipp Heer  philipp.heer@empa.ch and visit our websites https://www.empa.ch/web/energy-hub/ , www.empa.ch/web/s313  and Empa-Video

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, Patricia Nitzsche, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.


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