Postdoctoral Research Associate - Predicting urban metabolism

Open Research Positions for Studying Vibrant, Sustainable Neighborhoods

Project Overview

The pandemic has renewed interest in neighborhoods and what the immediate locale can provide to city residents. Our interdisciplinary team at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is developing data-driven tools to assess the environmental, mobility and social qualities of dense, urban neighborhoods or districts. This project is in collaboration with the Future Cities Laboratory, part of the Singapore-ETH Centre in Singapore and the National University of Singapore. Research activities include the development of:

  • A framework for predicting urban activities and assessing vibrancy of districts;
  • A framework for tracking and modeling the resultant resource and material flows through districts;
  • Visualizations of mobility and accessibility, leveraging open datasets to profile the movement of goods within and across urban districts.

Position 1: Postdoctoral Associate – Urban Metabolism


  • Carry out primary and secondary data collection to characterize urban resource flows
  • Analyze and visualize collected datasets
  • Develop models for predicting urban resource flows
  • Opportunities to co-supervise graduate students and other junior team members


  • Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, Environmental Science, Urban Planning, Industrial Ecology or related fields
  • Competence in life cycle assessment, material flow analysis
  • Experience in surveys or handling of real-world datasets
  • Comfortable with statistics and data analysis
  • Knowledge of Python, R, GIS software is an advantage

Position 2: Research Assistant - Urban Informatics


  • Report state-of-the-art in urban planning using spatial datasets
  • Collect, analyze, and visualize survey and location datasets


  • A Bachelors or Masters degree in engineering, urban studies, geography, computer science, or related field
  • Good programming and data analytics skills
  • Experience in handling real-world datasets, and GIS software preferred
  • Strong candidates with interest in pursuing a Ph.D. as a graduate student at SUTD are welcome to apply

We seek motivated candidates who can exercise project and research management skills, and are ready to thrive in a dynamic, multicultural and multidisciplinary team. The position involves opportunities to disseminate study findings to sponsors and other stakeholders as well as the preparation of peer-reviewed academic papers. Excellent command of written English and oral presentation skills is necessary. The positions are for one year, with the possibility of extension.

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) was established in 2009 in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs. It is a research-intensive global university focused on technology and technology-based design. See:

SUTD offers a competitive salary that commensurate with experience, and benefits.

Interested applicants are to submit their resume, cover letter (optional), three references, and an English technical writing sample to Associate Professor Lynette Cheah at We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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  • Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Engineering Systems and Design
  • Singapore
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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