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The Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich intends to ground sustainability in the disciplines of the built environment. We want to foster international collaboration among the different stakeholders involved in architecture, engineering and construction and to promote appropriate application of sustainable construction materials during the entire life cycle of buildings and infrastructure.


Project background

The PhD position is funded by the Future Cities Lab project called “future Circular Cities”. This project aims to develop a systems approach for informing the design of sustainable housing with circular material flows in urban areas. The focus lies on providing deci­sion recommendations for building-material choic­es, construction and ‘circular’ design. In particular, this project strives to develop integrated frame­works and tools based on advanced digital tech­nology for informing design and deploying effective resource solutions. The current PhD will be collaborating with two other PhDs, one from Environmental System Design group by Prof Hellweg and one from Innovative and Industrialized construction by Prof. Hall. The work will be to develop a method to upstream design of materials and mate­rial flows. Based on the analysis of environmental hotspots and available resources (PhD 1), improved building elements will be designed that close material cycles and reduce consumption of primary resources. The building materials will be com­prehensively assessed and optimised in terms of environmental and economic impacts and risks, to avoid negative side-effects and recognise potential trade-offs at an early stage. For Circular Economy, most building materials require redesign to enable design for disassembly, recyclability, or extended lifetimes. Feasibility studies and building material develop­ment, which promote synergies between industrial sectors, will be highlighted. Finally, an inventory of regionally-available (renewable) resources will be set up.

The PhD work should also be integrated in the development of design support tools to mea­sure and map Circular Economy Potentials. At the building scale, it can inform new architectural and urban design practices to contribute to CE. We aim to integrate near-real time assessment within a digital environment. The ap­proach will help develop CE variants of key archi­tectural elements— walls, floors, stairs, roofs, and openings— based on design for disassembly and pace-layering.  A digital open-source platform will be prototyped to connect multiple stakeholders within digitally-enabled cir­cular supply chains.


Job description

We offer working in an exciting project carried out in a small research group at ETH Zurich equipped with excellent computational and lab facilities. Supervision will be close, but allow independent work. English and German are the working languages of the institute. The duration of the project is three years.

Your profile

We welcome highly motivated and curious applicants holding a MSc in chemical, civil or environmental Engineering, materials or earth sciences, architecture or similar disciplines. The ideal candidate has a strong interest in construction, sustainability and circular economy. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. German speaking is an added value

ETH Zurich

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.Working, teaching and research at ETH ZurichGet connected


Interested?

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

  • cover letter that describes the candidate’s motivation and research experience
  • a full CV
  • academic transcripts/list of courses completed or on-going, including grades
  • a digital copy (PDF) of the master’s thesis
  • name and address / contact details of two referees

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

We seek to start on March 1, 2021 or by agreement.

For further questionsplease contact Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert (habertg@ethz.ch) (please do not send applications). More information about the Chair of Sustainable Construction is available on line (www.sc.ibi.ethz.ch).

Apply online now

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