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 project contributes to SCENE (Swiss Center of Excellence on Net-Zero Emissions), a joint initiative in the strategic area Energy, Climate and Sustainable Environment of the ETH Domain. SCENE covers a broad range of research areas related to net-zero. The open position is located in a sub-project focusing on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wastewater treatment.
Recent research reveals that the potent GHG and ozone depleting substance nitrous oxide (N2O) dominates GHG emissions from biological wastewater treatment. The development of effective operational strategies to avoid N2O generation requires detailed process knowledge. Isotope measurements of N2O are a powerful way to improve our process understanding and thus guide the development of N2O reduction measures.
We are looking for a highly motivated scientist / postdoc experienced in analytical chemistry, preferably with a background in nitrogen isotope analysis and / or optical spectroscopy.
Job description, responsibilities and tasks
- Implement and validate a setup for online analysis of N2O concentrations and isotopic composition.
- Design and perform experiments on pilot-scale and full-scale wastewater treatment plants to quantify N2O emissions and isotopic fingerprints under standard operation and optimized conditions. Collect auxiliary parameters, e.g. reactant concentrations and 15N/14N, in the aqueous phase. The measurement campaigns will be planned and conducted in collaboration with Eawag experts in process engineering.
- Interpret results with respect to source processes to improve the parameterization of models established by a fellow-postdoctoral researcher at Eawag focussing on model development.
- Communicate results in project reports, at meetings, conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.
- MSc or PhD degree in natural sciences, chemistry or a related discipline.
- Solid background in measurement techniques, isotope analysis, optical spectroscopy and / or the nitrogen biogeochemical cycle.
- Experience and strong flair for experimental research on engineered systems.
- Willingness to collaborate in a team environment with technicians, process engineers and operating staff at treatment plants.
- Software skills (e.g. Python, MATLAB or R).
- Ability to communicate scientific results in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences.
- Fluency in English is required; basic knowledge of German is a plus.
We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position for 2 years (with the possibility of extension) in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. Working place will be Empa in Dübendorf.
Appointments start preferably by summer 2023. All applications received before 31May 2023 will receive full consideration.
«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 - not age, gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
Bereichspersonalleiter / HR Partner