Research Vacancy // PhD position on modeling and optimization of the water-energy nexus at household level

The PhD position offered is part of a larger research project Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research (SCCER) – Efficiency of Industrial Processes funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI. The project belongs to the work package Decentralized Wastewater Management, a cooperation between Eawag, Empa, and two Swiss universities of applied science. Deadline is 31 January 2017.

The PhD research will be under the guidance of Dr Tove Larsen, Prof. Dr Eberhard Morgenroth, Dr Hans Peter Bader and Andreas Scheidegger.

Project summary

Warm water constitutes up to 40% of the energy losses from modern, energy-efficient buildings leading to a high interest from the building sector. A large number of water-related technologies have been suggested to increase the energy efficiency in households: reducing the use of warm water, solar heating of warm water, showers with in-built heat recovery, and heat recovery from combined domestic wastewater or greywater. The technologies suggested for heat recovery are either based on passive heat transfer, heat exchange, or heat pumps and the heat recovered can be used as replacement of active room heating, for warm water production, or for heat storage. With the large number of different technologies and possible uses of the energy, integrative modeling is required, including the connection to the household heating system.

This project is an integrative modeling study in close cooperation with technology developers working on energy recovery from and cooling with domestic wastewater. The modeling effort will integrate suitable models for local energy generation and storage, such as heat pumps, solar heating, and photovoltaics with the water related technologies. The purpose is to identify the optimal use of water-contained energy on the household scale. To make the model widely accessible, we envision a software implementation that offers a user friendly graphical user interface for building designers and at the same time a low-level programming interface to enable researchers to implement completely novel technologies. The model is planned to be implemented in Python, however, other programing languages must also be evaluated at the beginning of the project.

We are looking for an independent and motivated student with a solid modelling background and interest in energy, water treatment and programming. The candidates should hold an MSc degree in Computer Science, Energy Science and Technology, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, or similar.

Eawag offers a unique research and working environment and is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men and to support the compatibility of family and work. Applications from women are especially welcome. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult and

For further information on the Eawag departments involved (Process Engineering, Urban Water Management and Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modelling), please visit the following websites:, and For specific information on the project, please contact Dr Tove Larsen or Andreas Scheidegger.

Deadline for applications is 31 January 2017. The position starts as soon as possible in spring 2017. The duration of the PhD program at ETH-Zürich is generally three years.

We look forward to receiving your application. Please submit your application (including CV, motivation letter describing the applicant’s motivation for pursuing a PhD, the names and contact information for three references, and a complete resume; copies of prior publications or theses will be considered) via the Eawag Jobs & Career webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. The button below will take you directly to the application form.

Source: website

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