ENAC – Ph.D. Position in Personal Comfort Systems and Building Energy (ICE)

The Laboratory of Integrated Comfort Engineering (ICE) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is seeking an exceptionally driven and skilled Ph.D. candidate to contribute to cutting-edge research on personalized thermal comfort systems and their contribution to energy reduction in buildings. This position is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and involves collaboration with Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology).

The objective of the research is to experimentally and computationally characterize the effectiveness of personal thermal comfort systems via a detailed analysis of heat transfer between the comfort systems and the human body (a thermal manikin at the first phase, and actual humans at the second phase). In addition, the research will determine the possible contribution of personal comfort systems toward the reduction of building energy use via extensive building energy simulations.

The successful candidate will join the Smart Living Lab (SLL) in Fribourg, Switzerland, which encompasses the ICE lab. SLL is an inter-institutional research and development center dedicated to the well-being of users, energy efficiency, and the digital transformation of the built environment. Excellence and the background relevant to the position will be the main points of consideration once the immigration regulations of the Canton of Fribourg are met.

The requirements for the qualification of candidates:

  • Ms. in Mechanical Engineering and similar fields
  • Strong background in heat transfer (radiation, convection) and thermodynamics, particularly in the analysis of heat exchangers and thermal systems in buildings
  • Ability to responsibly manage thermal systems and actively participate in their development and operation through practical involvement
  • Experience with building energy simulation tools and familiarity with indoor comfort requirements
  • Strong background in mathematical modeling, data analytics, and programming
  • Team spirit and capacity to conduct computational and experimental research
  • Excellent communication skills, fluency in English and good academic writing skills

Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their application as a single PDF file (in English) that contains:

  1. Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
  2. Detailed CV with an overview of experimental and computational skills, language skills, and a list of publications
  3. Contact details of 3 referees 

Shortlisted candidates need to apply to the EPFL Doctoral Program in Energy (EDEY), this process is necessary to be eligible for a PhD at EPFL.

We offer:

  • World-class research environment providing access to cutting-edge research facilities that facilitate groundbreaking exploration
  • A commitment to fostering academic advancement within a nurturing workplace, ensuring individuals have the support needed to grow professionally
  • Working in an interdisciplinary research environment at Smart Living Lab
  • Competitive salary and employment conditions

Work location: Fribourg, Switzerland

Duration: 4 years (1-year fixed-term contract renewable annually)

Starting date of the appointment: September, 2024

Application submission deadline: June 1, 2024

For additional information and application submission, please email [email protected]. Please ensure that the subject line of the email indicates “PhD Application-PCS1.”