Postdoc in Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Control (a)
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 Urban Energy Systems Laboratory develops models and concepts for the planning and operation decentralized energy system technologies based on renewable energy and innovative districts, including prototypes and demonstration plants.

You will join the funded GOES project on "Geothermal based Optimized Energy Systems" where model and controller synthesis of a campus energy system with integrated borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) field, as well as abstraction of models/controllers to various settings, are key topics. This project is embedded in a larger international project under GEOTHERMICA and JPP Smart Energy Systems.

Based on measurement data collected from a real BTES installation at Empa, you will develop and implement control methods in order to ensure a carbon footprint aware predictive operation of the integrated system with an control horizon spanning from real-time up to seasonal. You will develop methods to extract local features/learnings in order to abstract and transfer them other contexts. You will have the freedom to develop and execute your research ideas in close collaboration with our team and our external scientific and industry partners.

You will support the dissemination of research findings across the community, which includes collaborating with other lab members and institutes as well as publishing in scientific journals and conferences. Open science principles are strongly supported/encouraged.
Your tasks
  • Model and controller development in the domain of sector coupled district energy systems including BTES fields
  • Experimental validation of developments on the Empa campus energy system
  • Publish in scientific journals and conference proceedings
  • Project coordination and project ideation
  • Support of project acquisition
  • Supervise MSc students and Co-supervise PhD students
Your profile
  • PhD related to control theory, thermal systems or energy systems
  • Applied experience in district energy systems simulation and control
  • Prior experience or knowledge of abstraction layers is an advantage
  • Experience in using Python is preferable; Modelica and/or TRNSYS a strong plus
  • Open science mindset
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are mandatory, German language skills are a strong plus
Our offer
We offer a stimulating, international and collaborative research environment 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 and plenty of opportunities for your professional development. The workplace is Dübendorf, close to Zürich. The contract will be initially limited to two years with a possibility of extension. The position is available upon agreement.
«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.
We look forward to receiving your complete online application including a letter of motivation, CV, certificates, diplomas and contact details of two reference persons. Please submit these exclusively via our job portal. Applications by e-mail and by post will not be considered.
Patricia Nitzsche, Stv. Leiterin Personal / Dep. Head Human Resources
  Philipp Heer
Group Leader
Urban Energy Systems
Your future place of work
Ueberlandstrasse 129
8600 Dübendorf
Empa as an employer
Innovative, sustainable, meaningful activities
Creating added value for society
International, multicultural working environment
Freedom to create and develop
Culture of inclusion and respect
Excellent balance between different areas of life
Multiple award-winning and certified employer
Benefits for rail, mobile, childcare, catering, etc.