Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

The board of directors decided end of September 2019 to strengthen Empa's activities in the field of surface sciences and coatings and established the new laboratory for Surface Science and Coating Technologies. For this new lab, we are looking for a new

Group Leader "Coating Technologies"

The new lab covers activities ranging from fundamental research to application-driven industry collaborations. A deep understanding of materials as well as of chemical and physical processes during manufacturing – starting often at the nanoscale – is the basis for us to design new products that offers improved characteristics and functionalities.


The laboratory consists of three groups:

  • The group "Molecular Surface Science" performs state of the art research on molecular surface systems with the scope of providing more insight into molecular self-assembly, crystallization phenomena and molecular surface dynamics.
  • The group "Tribology & Surface Analytics" explores the basic mechanisms of wear and friction. Furthermore, the group develops and uses advanced methods and devices of surface analytics, in particular for the chemical characterization of surfaces and materials.
  • The group "Coating Technologies" researches and develops new thin films and coatings – mainly fabricated by PVD technologies – with properties enhanced by improved deposition processes, nanoscale effects and combinations of different materials. The aim is to understand the mechanisms and interrelations in the coating process to be able to control it.


Your environment and tasks:

You lead a team of experienced researchers in the field of coating technologies. Your group owns several coating machines including an Oerlikon Ingenia and has access to state-of-the-art characterization equipment. Furthermore, the group is embedded in a larger Empa coating research community applying coating technologies in various domains and applications. You establish an original research portfolio and develop your team of researchers accordingly. Based on your objectives and needs for complementary competences, you collaborate with other Empa units, with national and international research teams as well as with industrial partners. You present your results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and at international conferences. Finally yet importantly, you acquire external funding.

Your profile and what we are looking for:

We are looking for an experienced scientist with a PhD degree in physics or materials science who has a background in coating technologies and expertise in material and surface characterization. As a scientist, you have a track record of conducting cutting-edge research and strong skills in writing scientific publications as well as project proposals. You are experienced in project management and project acquisition, motivated to work in interdisciplinary projects with larger, often multicultural teams, and willing to gain a sufficiently deep understanding in other research fields. You are a experienced team leader with a collaborative leadership style, good communication skills and the capability to motivate and integrate people with different backgrounds, skills and goals into a successful team. You are fluent in English. Good knowledge in German or at least in one of the other Swiss national languages is of great advantage.


What we offer:

We offer a challenging executive position 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. The position will initially be limited to three years. However based on performance, it can become a permanent position also already during this three-year period. The start of work is immediately or upon agreement. The workplace is Dübendorf.

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Lars Sommerhäuser, lars.sommerhaeuser@empa.ch and visit our websites www.empa.ch and Empa-Video

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts, publication list, research statement (max 6 pages) and at least three references. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, Cristina Marinoni, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.