ETH Zürich

Post-Doc on the Open Digital Twin Platform with a Focus on Data Visualisation in Switzerland

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About the employer

ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

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Post-Doc on the Open Digital Twin Platform with a Focus on Data Visualisation in Switzerland

The Center of Sustainable Future Mobility (CSFM) has been established with the aim to promote research activities that foster the realisation of a sustainable transportation system from an environmental, social, and economic perspective. The centre should serve as the entry point for external partners as well as a coordination unit for interdisciplinary research and partnerships around the challenges associated with future mobility.
We are looking for somebody to start as soon as possible upon agreement.

Project background

In the context of the vision for the CSFM, this project envisages the creation of an Open Digital Twin Platform (ODTP) to support research and policy-making in mobility and beyond. While the platform will be general beyond mobility, there is an initial application focus on the Swiss Mobility System and its interactions with its neighbours. This project is supported by the Swiss Action Plan for Open Research Data (ORD) and aims to improve open research data according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). We integrate public and potentially private data sets and models and create a FAIR user interaction in the ODTP that facilitates the use and re-use of all data. In addition, we are developing an Open Standard for Digital Twins that underpins ODTP.

The ODTP will make the unique role and contribution of the centre to define sustainable future mobility visible to society, but more importantly, it will allow the different research groups at ETH and beyond to build on a high-quality base for their individual and joint research. Examples of such overarching discussions, and research which can profit from such a well-documented and regularly updated digital twin could be for example:

  • Co-optimization of traffic flows with charging stations, e-catenary system corridors, hydrogen logistics, other relevant infrastructure, etc.
  • Empirical insights from behaviour/decision-making of consumers/investors on mobility-related matters.

Whereas the underlying ODTP and the open standard are meant to be general, the actual digital twin “CH on the move” will focus in the first instance on data related to mobility such as the population of persons and firms, their preferences, travel demand, transport and energy networks and timetables, service providers and their fleets, land use patterns and travel behaviour. The maintenance of the digital twin will require ongoing work and research for the necessary data pipelines and visualisations. The interaction with the relevant external data partners, policymakers, and governmental units will be central to its success.

Job description

Your involvement in developing the ODTP requires cooperation with researchers across different fields to implement core components of the Digital Twin from data acquisition to data management, data use and data visualisation. You joining the core team working on the ODTP means integrating with research groups at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC). You as a core team member will work closely with the 40 member groups of the CSFM to implement specific mobility-related applications that rely on the ODTP to generate the ”CH on the move” digital twin.

  • You will be responsible for formulating together with stakeholders the visualisation scope of the CSFM digital twin and implementing it in the ODTP, including defining the most common visualisations in the mobility context, implementing visualisations in common GIS platforms (E.g. Esri, Cesium, Mapbox/MapLibre, Game engines, osgEarth wasm and potentially, develop WebXR support on some platforms), developing maintainable visualisations tools for the ODTP to automate data representation, model representation, and enable data understanding of non-expert users in some of these platforms.
  • You will be generating visualisations of the Swiss Mobility System for researchers in mobility to rely on, establishing processes for sharing data, advancing the CSFM digital twin "CH on the move" through research and software development, and engaging in "digital twin" activities related to mobility, transport, and vehicles at ETH and other institutions. 
  • In addition, you will co-maintain the open-source code base of the ODTP and publish results in journals and conferences.

Your profile

  • You have PhD demonstrating strong relevant experience in one of the fields data of science, computer science, or geoinformation engineering/geoinformatics and if possible, in the parts of the subject domain (i.e., mobility)
  • You are willing to learn to make up for any missing skills
  • You have some experience in one or more areas of 3D visualization (e.g., Game engines, web engines, layers), UX development (UI, Accessibility, etc), GIS (VectorTiles, 3D Tiles, etc) or XR development (e.g. Vuforia, MARS or others)
  • You have some experience with ORD or open-access software projects
  • You are interested in engaging or you have some knowledge of data modelling and semantic technology
  • You have the willingness to work with cloud computing infrastructure (modern architectures with loose coupling through microservices, APIs and containerized data acquisition for FAIR use)
  • You are fluent in English and you may speak German or French
  • You have strong communication skills and be able to work collaboratively with a diverse team of researchers.

We offer

We offer a 2 year project-based contract at the Center for Sustainable Future Mobility working in the Digital Twin Group that includes:

  • Opportunities to engage with the digital twin community and mobility community
  • Engage stakeholders and policymakers on mobility and digital twins
  • Dynamic interdisciplinary team that spans across institutions in a transdisciplinary open working environment
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Motivation Letter (2 pages max)
  • CV
  • PhD diploma or equivalent

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

We evaluate applications on a rolling basis. 

Further information about the CSFM can be found on our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Jascha Grübel, email (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

Job details

Post-Doc on the Open Digital Twin Platform with a Focus on Data Visualisation in Switzerland
Rämistrasse 101 Zurich, Switzerland
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ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

Visit the employer page

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