Scientist or postdoc researcher in data engineering for digital twins (a)

Updated: about 2 months ago

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.


Urban Energy Systems Laboratory

researches innovative building and decentralised energy system technologies. Our work is focused on achieving the energy transition where more of our energy is generated from clean, sustainable sources and energy efficiency is improved. The planning of energy resources requires a clear and comprehensive understanding of supply and demand, and we believe that a digital transformation strategy is critical to achieving this goal. 

You will join an international project on data for city-scale digital twins (

). The projects will be carried out using data from living labs and will involve close interaction and cooperation with sector stakeholders, technology providers and industry partners. The aim of the project is to develop and apply data architectures to support data exchange for energy planning and operation. You will execute your research ideas in close collaboration with our team and external scientific and industry partners. You will support the dissemination of research findings across the knowledge community, which includes collaborating with other lab members and publishing in scientific journals and conferences.

Your tasks

  • Develop and apply cutting-edge concepts in data engineering, particularly focused on the application of linked data to support digital twins 
  • Support the development of digital twins at both building and city scales, focusing on creating semantic data structures such as ontologies that accurately represent these systems 
  • Actively collaborate with various stakeholders and lab members 
  • Develop and apply pipelines to meet the data needs of the digital twin models 
  • Promote knowledge transfer by creating technical documentation and contributing to peer-reviewed and conference publications 
  • Stay updated with the latest developments in the field of data engineering and linked data research, continuously improving the lab's practices and processes. 
  • Maintain a strong focus on data security and privacy, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and ethical guidelines.

You are a highly motivated candidate willing to expand your knowledge and expertise in data engineering for city-scale data exchange. You are a problem-solver with demonstrable experience in developing and applying innovative ideas. You enjoy discussing ideas with colleagues and collaborators from different backgrounds and thrive in a challenging and interdisciplinary environment.

Your profile

  • A PhD or MSc in a relevant discipline such as engineering/computing/mathematics/urban planning 
  • Experienced of databases and triple stores such as GraphDB, PostgreSQL and writing queries in SPARQL, SQL or GraphQL 
  • Proficiency in one or more programming languages (preferably Python) 
  • Experience in working with APIs 
  • Experience in ETL processes including cleansing, validating, and transforming datasets 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are mandatory; German or Italian language skills are beneficial but not required 


  • Experience and interest in working with energy systems, networks, and demand modelling is advantageous 
  • Experience or interest in developing GIS skills 
  • Experience with cloud services such as Microsoft Azure 
  • Experience or interest in semantic web technologies is advantageous e.g. ontology development

Our offer

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. You start with a one year contract with possibility of extension. The workplace is in Dübendorf, very close to Zürich.

«a» stands for «all» in our job advertisements. We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.

PatriciaNitzsche, Stv. Leiterin Personal / Dep. Head Human Resources

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