Open PhD position at EMPA

(Note: The original job advertisement can be found on the EMPA website)
In the last several years wireless sensor networks (WSN) gained much attention as a new and promising technique for monitoring purposes. Even though there is significant research on the development of wireless sensor networks technologies and on civil infrastructure reliability and management, there is little activity in performing multidisciplinary research for developing integrated smart and dynamic systems for effective management of the built and natural environment. The EU-funded research project SmartEN aims to explore this topic. The goal of this Ph.D. position is to investigate the challenges of using wireless sensor network technology for long-term monitoring of civil infrastructure including the following topics:

  • Solving the problem of choosing the number and the locations of individual sensors and sensor nodes re-specting the properties of wireless communication, sensing range and construction specifics. This research should rely on the model of the structure and measured environmental characteristics.
  • Solving optimization problems of sensor data measurement schedules and data collection strategies in or-der to maximize the data delivery rates and to provide a desired QoS level. Energy-efficiency and high data availability are the primary goals.
  • Development of a framework which allows for a convenient deployment and configuration of the sensor network and analysis of sensor data.

The wireless sensor network group of Empa has a long experience in all these research fields and offers fantastic possibilities to evaluate the system performance on different real-world objects. The research results should be published and presented at high-quality conferences and journals.

This Ph.D. position presumes and supports a high level of interaction and collaboration with other re-searches in the field of WSN hardware and software development, structural health monitoring and non-destructive evaluation. We are looking for a candidate with

  •  M.Sc. in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering with outstanding marks in Computer Science
  • Some knowledge in the field of wireless sensor network
  • Strong motivation and ability to carry out research in an interdisciplinary and international environment
  • Strong communication skills and willingness to work in a team
  • fluent proficiency in both written and spoken English
  • good spoken German is desired

To apply, please send your application in electronic form including a letter of motivation, your CV incl. diploma, and names and contact information of references to Dr. Olga Saukh. 


Dr. Olga Saukh
Structural Engineering
Überlandstr. 129
8600 Duebendorf
Phone: +41 44 823 4632