PhD position in Design and Robotic Assembly of Timber Structures

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: Permanent

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100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The research group Gramazio Kohler Research, Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication, situated at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich, seeks a highly motivated PhD candidate to work on the subject of design and robotic assembly of timber structures.


Project background

This PhD research project is situated at the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication – an interdisciplinary research programme that aims at fostering a digital building culture and development of innovative design methods and construction technologies for architecture, engineering and construction.

The project envisages a digitally-enhanced construction process – in particular the assembly of timber structures – performed collaboratively by robots and human workers. The doctoral thesis will be pursued in collaboration with two other PhD fellows from research groups specializing in robotics and working on collaborative robot-human manipulation and multi-robotic fabrication. The project will start in June 2022.


Job description

Within this interdisciplinary endeavor, you will co-develop methods to create a shared digital model for humans and robots, and to integrate constraints and different requirements specific to human interaction, robot control and sensor feedback. Your work will entail development of software tools, architectural design, as well as physical experiments and prototyping at different scales. The project aims to culminate in a large-scale demonstrator to be fabricated in the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory (RFL) at ETH Hönggerberg.


Your profile

We are looking for a talented and motivated architect and researcher with experience in timber architecture and with outstanding skills in computational design and robotic fabrication. We expect programming experience (e.g. Python) and strong analytical skills. An interest in software development, XR and sensing technologies is desirable. The candidate must enjoy research by design and through physical experimentation.

You should be fluent in English, demonstrate a high level of initiative and independence, and enjoy working in a diverse and interdisciplinary research team. Applicants must hold a Master’s degree acquired at university level (equivalent to the FHEQ-Level 7) in architecture or related fields.


We offer

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.


ETH Zurich

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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