PhD in chemical admixture formulation for ultra-green concrete

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: PartTime
Deadline: 11 Nov 2022

PhD in chemical admixture formulation for ultra-green concrete

The Chair for Physical Chemistry of Building Materials  has one opening for a PhD position in chemical admixtures for sustainable concrete. This PhDs is part of an Ambizione project led by Dr Franco Zunino and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.


Project background

Chemical admixtures are organic compounds, which when added in small amounts in concrete can profoundly modify key properties such as rheology and hydration kinetics. While already playing an essential role around the world in modern concrete, they are called upon to play an even greater one in low-carbon concrete. The SNSF Ambizione project aims to develop novel admixture formulations to enable low-carbon cement incorporating high amounts of supplementary cementitious materials (>50%) to be used in low-binder concrete formulations, enabling substantial CO2 savings. Such binders may be referred to as ultra-green cement and are seen as representing alternatives that could be easily, rapidly and extensively taken up by industry.


Job description

You will be directed by Dr Franco Zunino and co-supervised by Prof. Robert Flatt, interacting and collaborating with other PhD students working on related subjects and engaging in active and continuous feedback to the other team members of the project and the group at ETH. Thus, good communication skills and willingness to collaborate with other researchers are essential.


We offer

The Chair of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials within the Institute for Building Materials offers many chances for jump-starting an academic or industrial research career in cement and concrete technology, with a strong basis in materials chemistry and rheology. Our highly diverse and international group also offers many networking opportunities through academic societies such as RILEM, industry connections, as well as internal ETH connections. We are committed to diversity by allowing flexibility in working hours, home office, and other measures to ensure team members can adequately perform their roles.


Your profile

For this PhD position, you should hold a chemical engineering, materials science or civil engineering degree. You will be preferred if you have experience in at least one of the following topics: Mineral binders, colloidal science, ceramic processing, materials chemistry, and rheology of particulate suspensions.

Good experimental skills are a must. An excellent oral and written level in English is essential. Conversational knowledge of German is an advantage, but the desire to learn it is a must.


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.


Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Names and contact information (email address) of three references

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

Further information about the Physical Chemistry of Building Materials can be found on our website . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Franco Zunino, Email fzunino@ethz.ch  (no applications). Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until the position is filled, with the latest evaluation by October 31st, 2022.


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