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,Empa, and TU Delft.
This doctoral researcher position on digitalization for a circular built environment is based at the Chair of Circular Engineering for Architecture (CEA) and will be supervised in collaboration with the Chair of Innovative and Industrial Construction (IC) and the Chair of Construction Heritage and Preservation 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 to the built environment through automated materials reuse can tackle challenges such as the scarcity of resources, waste treatment, and the climate crisis.
This research will respond to the following research questions, related to environmental responsibility:
Digital fabrication stakeholders need to explore digital disassembly for fostering circular construction. As current digital fabrication projects age, they will likely require complete replacement of elements due to lack of repair strategies, documentation and knowledge. This doctoral research will reimagine the connection between the end-of-life of one building with the start-of-life of another digital fabrication project in addition to related preservation strategies. The tasks include:
New data models known as Material Passports (MPs) are needed to store the quantitative and qualitative documentation of materials, products, and systems. The long-term preservation and efficient repair of computationally designed and manufactured buildings requires solid documentation and knowledge transfer. This will be addressed in both doctoral positions.
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 computer science, civil and environmental engineering, architecture, construction, or similar subjects and with a strong interest in the AEC sector as well as in applying circular economy principles to (building) materials. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. The ideal candidate should be able to work in a team, take initiative, be results-oriented, organised, and creative. Experience in computer science, digital fabrication, BIM, or computational design are an added value.
A MSc., MArch or similar recognized master’s degree is required for admission to ETH.
Applicants are encouraged to apply, even if they do not meet all the above criteria. 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).
Review of applications will be on an ongoing basis beginning June 30th, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. The starting date is anticipated in Autumn of 2022 or as mutually agreed upon by both parties.
This position is linked to another position at the CEA: https://www.jobs.ethz.ch/job/view/JOPG_ethz_CviMdZD0zTmLA8iJ0G
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