PhD Tipping points in energy transitions @ EPFL

Within an interdisciplinary research project on simulating tipping points, we are offering a 100% PhD researcher position on “Modelling tipping points in energy transitions”. The position will be hosted by the at the Laboratory for Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems (HERUS), School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), in close collaboration with the Laboratory for Data Science (DATA), School of Computer Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The research focus of HERUS is on transitions of urban systems towards sustainability. One of the key areas of our research is the energy transition with a focus on integrating social and technical science perspectives. DATA performs research and teaching at the intersection of systems, programming languages, and theory. The research of the PhD student will focus on developing an agent-based model (ABM) integrating urban dynamics with decision-making processes to simulate transition paths of the energy system and analyze the tipping points therein.

Specific responsibilities include

  • Understanding urban energy transitions
  • Developing and calibrating an interdisciplinary ABM of the energy transition in Lausanne integrating its build environment and decision-making behavior
  • Identifying and analyzing tipping point and critical phase transitions
  • Independent research under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Claudia R. Binder (HERUS) and Prof. Dr. Christoph Koch (DATA)
  • Research in collaboration with the HERUS research team
  • Support in teaching activities of HERUS (20%)

We expect

  • An excellent MSc degree, preferably in Computer Science, Energy, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geography, or other related fields
  • Solid programming skills and modelling knowledge
  • Knowledge of and high interest in the energy sector and socio-technical systems
  • Proficiency in English is required (working language), knowledge of French (and/or German) is an asset
  • Strong team spirit, social skills, good communication, independence, and a high level of motivation for academic research motivated by relevant practical problems

We offer

  • Excellent working conditions: an innovative and competitive atmosphere, modern equipped working areas and an environment promoting access to the world’s best scientists
  • Interdisciplinary working environment
  • Full financial support for max. four years including conference visits
  • The position is open as of May 1st 2024 or upon agreement
Read more / apply
  • Application deadline: Feb 20, 2024
  • EPFL
  • School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC)
  • Lausanne, Switzerland
  • PhD Positions
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