PhD Position in Software Development for Sustainable Consumer Decisions

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 18 Dec 2020

The Bits to Energy Lab Zurich, which is part of the Chair of Information Management lead by Professor Dr. Elgar Fleisch at the Department of Management, Economics and Technology, offers a PhD position in Software Development in a unique, interdisciplinary research setting.

Project background

The project goal is to develop a novel, scalable and tailored approach for consumers to track and monitor the sustainability of their groceries and food waste to mitigate climate change. More specifically, we plan to process consumers’ digital receipts from grocery purchases to analyze the sustainability of their purchases, to estimate households’ food waste behavior, and to develop adaptive interventions to change consumer behavior. The project is in collaboration with the Chair of Marketing at the University of Zurich, the Center for Artificial Intelligence at ETH Zurich, the Bits to Energy Lab Nuremberg, and Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Job description
  • Direct responsibility for the system development (technical implementation of the application to process digital receipts from grocery purchases)
  • Ensuring the scalability of the data processing system
  • Extending the existing product database with sustainability aspects
  • Processing purchase data with respect to sustainability metrics
  • Developing digital interventions to improve sustainability of grocery decisions and analyzing data in collaboration with the other members of the project team at the University of Zurich and from ZHAW, who are in charge of developing a prediction model for food waste and adaptive sustainability interventions

What we offer
  • A fully funded position in a motivated team dedicated to tackling major real-world problems with scientific rigor
  • A creative and inspiring environment to design, implement, and analyze cutting-edge research projects together with leading partner institutions
  • Interdisciplinary project collaborations and a top international network
  • An excellent starting position for both, an academic career and a career in industry

About the Bits to Energy Lab

The Bits to Energy Lab develops information systems and analyzes behavioral data that are increasingly available both in professional and in private contexts. Our projects strive to create concrete solutions with a measurable impact on relevant challenges of our society, in particular in the sustainability, mobility and nutrition domain. In an interdisciplinary team, we collect and analyze real-world data in collaboration with top international partners from academia and industry.

Your profile
  • Master’s degree in computer science or engineering
  • Profound expertise in software development; in particular: solid expertise in Python and JavaScript and an interest in Machine Learning / Data Science
  • Ideally, expertise in mobile development (e.g., React Native)
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Very good university track record (GPA of at least 5.0 in Switzerland / 2.0 or better in Germany or Austria or equivalent)
  • Positive mindset, eagerness to learn, creativity in problem-solving
  • Profound knowledge of English and German (written and oral)

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.


We are looking forward to receiving your application documents including a cover letter, your CV and university transcripts. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through the ETH online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Bits to Energy Lab can be found on our website  and about the Chair of Information Management at . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Verena Tiefenbeck via email  (no applications).

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