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PhD position: scale effects in highly-renewable energy systems
100%, Zurich, fixed-term
The Chair of Energy Systems Analysis (ESA) , within the Department of
Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich, is looking for a doctoral
student working on geospatial methods for resource assessments of renewable
energy technologies. The PhD position is well connected with other research
projects at ESA, which is at the intersection of engineering and economics,
and involves developing and applying energy system models to diverse energy
systems and research questions. The ESA group is headed by Prof. Dr. Russell
McKenna and generally focuses on the energy system analysis of low carbon
energy systems and technologies. The Chair holder's joint appointment as the
Head of the Laboratory of Energy Systems Analysis at PSI mean a strong
collaboration with this group is also desirable.
The transition to a net-zero-carbon-emissions (net-zero) energy system
requires a significant increase in renewable generation capacity with respect
to current values. However, where exactly all this infrastructure should be
built and at what scale, as well as the integration with existing
infrastructure, raises many questions. This calls for a holistic analysis of
future energy systems within the energy trilemma paradigm, where economic,
environmental, and energy security performance must be balanced.
The goal of the project is to develop quantitative methods and tools to
analysis scale effects within highly-renewable energy systems, for example the
question of optimum scales for autonomous decentralised energy systems. This
will be done:
by adopting state-of-the-art modeling techniques to simulate the future
spatial and temporal evolutions of highly-renewable energy systems;
by expanding and developing cutting-edge energy models to determine the
optimal system evolution with respect to economic, environmental and
supply security indicators;
by employing empirical data relating to energy network infrastructure in
order to understand cost structures;
by classifying and clustering supply and demand configurations based on
statistical information reduction techniques.
To address these points, you will have access to state-of-the-art
computational capabilities, and you will be in contact with experts within ETH
Zurich and worldwide.
We are looking for a proactive and highly motivated candidate, with a MSc in a
quantitative discipline (such as engineering, applied physics, geosciences or
mathematics) from an internationally recognized University and an excellent
academic track record. Ideally, you have a background in quantitative
modelling and programming (e.g. Matlab, Python, Julia, GAMS, GIS). Knowledge
of mixed method approaches, mixed-integer linear programming solvers (e.g.
CPLEX, Gurobi) and/or machine learning techniques are a benefit.
You should be able to speak and write clearly in English. Furthermore, you
will need to enjoy working in a competitive, dynamic, diverse, and
international environment with other doctoral students and postdocs.
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 Zurich Get connected
We look forward to receiving your online application including the following
Transcripts of records for both BSc and MSC degrees
Contact information of at least two professional referees
Please note that we only accept applications which are submitted through our
online application portal. We will not consider applications sent via email or
postal services. Applications assessment will start immediately and will
continue until the position is filled.
Questions regarding the position should be directed by email to Prof. Dr.
Russell McKenna, firstname.lastname@example.org (no applications).
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 ourEqual Opportunities and Diversity website to
find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to
grow and flourish.
Apply online now