PhD on Occupant-centric flexibility quantification and dispatch

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 methods and tools to model, design and assessment energy systems at various scales with a focus on energy hubs, multi-energy grids, and integration of renewable energy and storage systems.

Your tasks

In the framework of MSCA DN CoDEF project, we are looking for a motivated and experienced PhD candidate to perform occupant-centric flexibility analysis. A particular focus lies on the quantification and dispatch of flexibility to support energy system operation. Challenges encompass - among others -, modeling physical systems and stochastic human behaviors. Historical data in the Empa's NEST demonstrator and its inhouse digital twin will be utilized to quantification and dispatch flexibility. The candidate shall translate his/her research ideas to tackle these challenges, in close collaboration with our interdisciplinary team and external scientific and industry partners. The candidate will support our master students, publish in scientific journals, and participate in conferences.

Your profile

You are a highly motivated and dedicated candidate with an MSc in Energy, Mechanical, or Electrical engineering (or related field). You are actively interested in the ongoing energy transition and in developing automation solutions to help make it a reality. Strong programming, modeling, and data analysis skills in Python support you in contributing to our ongoing software development efforts. Your spoken and written English skills help you navigate our international environment. You have not lived more than 12 months out of the previous 36 months in Switzerland.

Our offer

We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. The ideal starting date is September 2024 with a planned duration of 4 years. The PhD candidate will be enrolled at Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), Prof. Valentin Bertsch. An external stay of 3 months at RUB and 6 months at Zurich Soft Robotics is planned during the third year of the PhD.
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 forwardto 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,


  Dr. Hanmin Cai
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.