The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) on Digital Fabrication, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), aims to revolutionise architecture through the seamless combination of digital technologies and physical building processes. Over 60 researchers from six different academic disciplines collaborate to develop ground-breaking technologies for tomorrow’s construction. Their research allows Switzerland to take a leading position within the global field of digital fabrication. Initiated at ETH Zurich, it is partnered with EPF Lausanne, the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the Bern University of Applied Sciences and Empa.
This doctoral research position on digitalization for a circular built environment is located at the Chair of Circular Engineering for Architecture (CEA) and co-supervised by the Block Research Group (BRG) at ETH Zurich. We intend to foster the exploration and adoption of digital technologies as well as the shift towards a circular paradigm in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector. Buildings are complex problems addressed by numerous stakeholders. Automating reuse of materials in the built environment will connect actors across the value chain. Circular economy principles applied in the built environment through automated materials reuse can tackle challenges such as the scarcity of resources, waste treatment, and the climate crisis.
The PhD will respond to the following research questions, related to environmental responsibility:
Digital fabrication stakeholders need to continuously understand the environmental impact of their decisions. Digital fabrication approaches offer the opportunity to make early design-stage evaluations of non-standard fabrication methods, something that is not currently available using current standards for life cycle assessment (LCA) and building information modeling (BIM). The tasks include:
The position is funded within the collaborative scope of NCCR DFAB. The network, support, and collaborations offered within the NCCR offer unique opportunities for research as well as impact in industry.
We welcome highly motivated and curious applicants in disciplines related to civil and environmental engineering, architecture, computer science, construction, or similar subjects and with a strong interest in applying circular economy principles to the AEC sector. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. Speaking German is an added value. The ideal candidate should be able to work in a team, take initiative, be results-oriented, organised, and creative. Software engineering skills (especially coding, e.g., Python), BIM experience (e.g., Revit), or computational design skills (e.g., Rhino/Grasshopper) are an added value. A MSc., MArch or similar recognized master’s degree is required for admission to ETH.
Applications are only accepted through the online portal and should contain the following documents (make sure your last name is on all the documents and in the file name):
Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.
For further questions please contact Mrs. Nina Limbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) (please do not send applications). More information about the Institute of Construction & Infrastructure Management (IBI) within the department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (D-BAUG) is available online (https://ibi.ethz.ch/en/). More information about the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) within the department of Architecture (D-ARCH) is available online (https://ita.arch.ethz.ch/en).
This position is linked to another position at the CEA: https://www.jobs.ethz.ch/job/view/JOPG_ethz_mTdTqobWWhVOG2TWiI
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