Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.

The “Blue-Green Infrastructure” lab at Eawag invites applications for a PhD position in Microclimate modeling:

Cities are facing major challenges such as urbanization and climate change, and actions are needed to restore biodiversity and increase the quality of life. Urban green spaces (UGS), which contain a variety of vegetation types, can help to achieve these multiple goals in various ways (evaporative cooling, insect habitat, recreation spot, etc.). In order to make more informed decisions about what to plant in UGS, we must first understand how plants are currently selected by stakeholders, as well as, how these different plant communities can benefit living species, humans, and local temperatures. This is the aim of the PAPPUS project – an interdisciplinary project linking social, ecological, and climate science to evaluate the ecological and human benefits of UGS in a changing climate.

In this PhD project, you will focus on one part of this interdisciplinary project: how vegetation in UGS affects the local microclimate in a current and future climate. To do so, you will combine field observations and climate data with an energy-balance model. The field campaign and modeling will span across more than 100 sites in 3 Swiss cities.

The selected candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary consortium of researchers in the fields of urban climate, urban biodiversity, and social science. The candidate will have the opportunity to exchange with the cohort of PhD students and post-docs also working on this large project. Start date must be no later than May 2023. The position is based in Dübendorf (near Zurich) in the group of Dr. Lauren Cook at Eawag, yet the doctoral program will be completed at EPFL in Lausanne under the supervision of Prof. Gabriele Manoli.

To apply, you must have completed (or be in the process of completing) an MSc in Engineering, Atmospheric Science, Physics, or a related field. Proficiency in English is required, and knowledge of German is an advantage. The ideal candidate is an intrinsically motivated, independent person who is dedicated to the interdisciplinary research needed to increase urban resilience. Programming experience is mandatory and familiarity with urban micro-climate models is ideal.

Eawag is a modern employer and offers an excellent working environment where staff can contribute their strengths, experience and ways of thinking. We promote gender equality and are committed to staff diversity and inclusion. The compatibility of career and family is of central importance to us. In addition, Zurich hosts many research groups in engineering, climate science, and advanced statistics, and is among the world’s leading cities in terms of science, culture and quality of life.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Lauren M. Cook /lauren.cook@eawag.ch +41 58 765 5474

Applications must be submitted by 15 January 2023. Your application should include a brief application letter explaining your motivation, research interests and relevant experience, a CV, and the names and contact details of three academic references. Candidates selected for an interview will be asked to respond to a short technical and writing exercise. To be eligible for a PhD at EPFL, candidates must also apply to the Doctoral Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering (EDCE).

We look forward to receiving your application through this webpage. Any other way of applying will not be considered. Please click on the button below, this will take you directly to the application form.

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