Scientist - High-Throughput Catalyst & Reaction Characterization

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: Permanent

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The ETH domain has recently launched Swiss Cat+, a technology platform dedicated to automated and data-driven experimentation in catalysis. The East Hub, hosted by ETH Zurich D-CHAB, focuses on heterogeneous chemistry and hosts state-of-the-art robotic and high-throughput equipment, able to synthesize, characterize, and evaluate libraries of catalysts & materials (Catalysis Hub | ETH Zurich ). As an open-access technology platform, the Swiss Cat+ aims to offer tools and expertise to the entire Swiss scientific community investigating catalytic processes, particularly to produce sustainable fuels and chemicals.

Embedded in the Swiss landscape at the Honggerberg campus, Swiss Cat+ interacts with some of the best academics and private research groups. The role of the Hub is to translate project requests from users/customers into a set of high-throughput and automated experiments. To accelerate the discovery of new catalysts, advanced computational methods using artificial intelligence/machine learning algorithms are used on the large databases generated by the devices.

Project background

Swiss Cat+ East is seeking to hire a scientific expert with strong expertise in instrumentation and data management to lead the development and operations for the high-throughput characterization of catalysts and monitoring of reactions. He will also act as a project leader to plan, implement, and execute high-throughput and automated experimentation projects for the Hub’s users.

This is a one year contract renewable with possible extension towards a time-unlimited position

Job description

Your main tasks will be to develop state-of-the-art analytical methods for catalyst characterization and reaction monitoring (GC, HPLC, TGA, BET, XRD…). Oversee and manage the related equipment maintenance and inventory activities, in relation with the laboratory technician to ensure continuous and smooth operations and take part in designing, purchasing, installing, or fabricating new high-throughput and robotic devices, with a focus on heterogeneous catalysts characterization and reaction product analysis (LA-ICPMS, XRD, XPS…), in collaboration with the team, the users, and the technology providers. Furthermore, you will collaborate in the implementation and set up of an Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN), Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), other databases, and data analysis and visualization software as well as program and operate robotic/automated equipment to perform experiments as per the project’s needs and analyze data. Additionally, you will write project proposals, prepare reports, and communicate results to CAT+ users internally and at conferences and train students or users when needed. 

Your profile

You should present the following technical background and profile:

  • PhD in (analytical/physical) chemistry or chemical engineering, with practical experience with analytical tools commonly used to characterize materials surface properties and reactions such as GC, HPLC, MS, TGA, BET, XRD, XRF, ICP…
  • Experience in heterogeneous catalyst synthesis, characterization, and testing would be considered a strong plus
  • Comfortable with using various software to control equipment and analyze data
  • Experience/knowledge of data management and automated/high-throughput experimentation tools, programming languages (Python, SQL, R, C++), and/or application of AI/ML in the field of chemistry would be a plus
  • Capable of managing multiple projects concurrently
  • Customer-oriented mindset
  • Enthusiasm to learn about new technologies and scientific fields
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • “Hands-on” attitude to operate and troubleshoot equipment when needed
  • Team player and excellent communication in English (German and or French are a plus)

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.

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Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with:

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

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Paco Laveille by email at

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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