Postdoc in Control-oriented model development and calibration towards digital twins for multi-energy systems

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 researches innovative building and decentralised energy system technologies. Our work is focused on achieving the energy transition where more of our energy is generated from clean, sustainable sources and energy efficiency is improved. The planning of energy resources requires a clear and comprehensive understanding of supply and demand, and we believe that a digital transformation strategy is critical to achieving this goal. 
In the framework of the Horizon Europe REFORMERS project, we are looking for a motivated Postdoc candidate to design and implement digital twins for the reliable and cost-effective operation of district energy systems. You will focus on data-driven processes like acquisition, storage, analytics, and model-based support, including automated model derivation and validation. Additionally, you will also investigate operational decision support services. Working closely with demonstration sites, you will contribute to creating digital twins of energy valleys for efficient operation. You will translate research ideas to tackle these challenges in close collaboration with our interdisciplinary team and external scientific and industry partners. You will support our PhD students, publish in scientific journals, and participate in conferences.

Your tasks

  • Design and implement digital twins for district energy systems. 
  • Focus on data-driven processes like data acquisition, storage, and analytics. 
  • Engage in model-based support, automated model derivation, and validation. 
  • Collaborate with external scientific and industry partners, as well as our interdisciplinary team. 
  • Mentor PhD students, publish in scientific journals, and participate in conferences.

Your profile

  • A highly motivated and dedicated individual with a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, mechanical, environmental, or electrical engineering, or a related field. 
  • Good understanding of the ongoing energy transition in Switzerland and/or Europe. 
  • Strong skills in programming, modeling, and data analysis, especially in Python. 
  • Experience in mathematical optimization problems formulation and implementation. 
  • Proficiency in English; German skills are a plus. 
  • Knowledge of data management and analysis is desirable. 
  • Experience with semantic web technologies and open data formats, such as CityGML, is desirable.

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 contract is initially for 2 years, with the possibility of extension. The workplace is in Dübendorf, very close to Zürich.
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.