PhD Student in Environmental Engineering

  • Eawag
  • Dübendorf, ZH, Switzerland
  • 28/05/2021
Full time Data Science Data Engineering Data Analytics Big Data Data Management Statistics

Job Description

Your research will focus on better understanding pollution dynamics in urban drainage systems with novel monitoring approaches.

Urbanization and climate change put pressure on both urban drainage systems (UDS) and natural aquatic ecosystems. However, reliable information on pollutant dynamics in UDS, emissions into surface waters, compliance assessment and the performance of UDS at the European scale is lacking. This is often, because current sensor signals are not reliable, or data quality is poor. The solution is to make more robust pollutant sensors, and to improve monitoring practices (e.g. stand-ard protocols, QA systems).

In this doctoral research project, you will investigate novel approaches to water quality monitoring by applying recent concepts from UV-Vis spectral analysis, wastewater spectroscopy, image analysis, chemometrics and machine learning to water quality monitoring. You will contribute to developing “intelligent” sensor prototypes and test them in the lab, at pilot-scale facilities and in real-world wastewater systems. You will also contribute to data harmonization activities to ensure good data quality and interoperability of monitoring data from utilities to regulators.

You will be part of the interdisciplinary H2020 project CoUDLabs, “Building Collaborative Urban Drainage research labs Communities”. In this unique initiative, nine leading water research institutes and non-profit organizations collaborate with the European Water Industry to address pressing public health, flood risks and environmental challenges associated with Urban Drainage Systems.
Our consortium will perform a combination of interconnected Joint Research Activities to improve the understanding of critical emissions from urban drainage systems as well as asset deterioration, and secure the long-term resilience and sustainability of urban drainage systems with the help of more robust, autonomous and interconnected smart monitoring techniques, and digital water data analysis tools.
In addition, a program of collaborative networking activities with industry will provide access to 17 key large scale research facilities at European scale, which cover the entire range of UDS processes from: rainfall-runoff, surface washoff, wastewater collection systems and their interactions with urban surfaces and soils, and Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS). Supporting these actions will give you an unprecedented access to the European Water Industry.

Ideal candidates must have completed a Master’s degree in chemometrics, optical physics, ana-lytical chemistry, environmental, electrical or mechanical engineering. Strong analytical and laboratory skills and experience with spectral analysis, optical monitoring or water quality monitoring is desired.
In addition, experience with image analysis and statistical data analysis is required. Experience with field work in wastewater systems is an asset. An excellent standard of written and spoken English is required and knowledge of German is an advantage.
In the scope of CoUDLabs you will collaborate with other partners in research and industry. The position therefore requires excellent interpersonal skills with the desire and the ability to work col-laboratively and effectively in a team environment.

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. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult and

Please submit your application including a CV, a brief statement about your motivation for this position and how your skills and experience support novel approaches to wastewater quality monitoring, copies of your academic qualifications and names of potential referees.

Deadline for applications is 7 June 2021 or until the position is filled.

For further information, please contact Dr Jörg Rieckermann.

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

Applications from employment agencies/personnel consultants are not welcome and will not be considered