Two engineers or postdocs in the field of railway noise and vibrations (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.

The Laboratory for Acoustics / Noise Control develops smart materials and noise reduction technologies to reduce noise and foster healthy acoustic environments. Assisting industrial partners in the abatement of railway noise and vibrations is one of our core topics.

This two-year project, funded by the Swiss Federal Government, is part of Empa's effort to bridge the gap between fundamental science and engineering applications. Specifically, in this project we will further develop models to predict railway noise and vibrations. These models are used to investigate the effect of new developments, both in the track and for the rolling stock, and to support nation-wide noise mapping for legal compliance.

Your tasks

  • You set up finite element models in the frequency and time domain, including complex phenomena such as visco-elasticity and nonlinear contacts. Knowledge of Ansys and/or Code Aster is a plus.
  • You implement boundary element models to calculate the noise emission from trains under realistic conditions.
  • You enhance the existing modelling toolchain to predict ground vibrations due to passing trains, taking into account the energy transmission through ballast.
  • You use large measurement datasets to validate the model results, and adapt them to real-life situations. You assist in finding an efficient system to handle large amounts of data.
  • You interact with academic and industrial partners to gain better understanding of the final requirements, and with your colleagues within the group to discuss the physical foundations of the models you devise.
  • In frequent reporting to stakeholders, varying between weekly to monthly, you will show the results that you have obtained and give a well-founded interpretation of those results. You will iterate on your work and your approach based on the feedback of your supervisors which helps you steer the direction of your research.

Your profile

If you recognize yourself in the story below, then you have the profile that fits the project and the research group:

  • I have a master degree in engineering, physics or mathematics, and I have affinity with railway topics.
  • I am proficient in written and spoken English.
  • During my courses or prior professional activities, I have gathered experience with at least one of the following: principles of vibrations and acoustics, structural dynamics, numerical modelling techniques (finite element method, discrete element method, boundary element method), or experimental methods in structural dynamics. I have a profound interest for these topics.
  • I ideally have basic knowledge in data processing and analysis, especially for big data sets.
  • As a research engineer, I enjoy translating the physical principles that inspire my work into viable engineering solutions and enjoy meeting the challenges set by real life applications.
  • I am excited to expand my scientific and technical knowledge, by searching for relevant literature and through discussions with my colleagues.

Our offer

We offer an inclusive workplace, with a vibrant scientific culture and colleagues that enjoy the challenges posed by real engineering applications. Our new colleagues will be integrated in a group of scientists and engineers with diverse academic and cultural background. Close cooperation with a leading company in its field and the ability to contribute to the translation of ongoing research into application will represent a valuable asset for furthering the successful applicant's career.

You stay in a dynamic environment centrally in Europe. Empa has its main campus in Dübendorf, located close to Zürich and 20 minutes by tram from Zurich International Airport. Zurich is one of the cities with the highest quality of life worldwide, welcoming to non-German speaking people and with ample opportunities for social, cultural, and outdoor activities.

«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.

DavidHeusser, HR Partner

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