Doctorate in hydro-glaciological modelling

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Professorship of Glaciology, jointly operating at the ETH’s Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) and at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), is looking for a doctoral candidate to join its team for the next three to four years. The start date of the doctorate is negotiable, but we envision a start in February or March 2023.

Project background

The doctorate is offered in the frame of the research project “21st century evolution of small glaciers and their impact on regional hydrology in the Himalayas”, a project jointly conducted in a large Indo-Swiss collaboration by researchers of VAW-ETHZ, the Hydrology Group of the University of Berne, Switzerland, the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, and the Indian National Centre of Polar and Ocean Research. The ultimate goal of the project is to quantify the hydrological relevance of small glaciers in the Himalaya, as many of them are anticipated to disappear in the coming decades because of climatic change. The focus is on glaciers smaller than 2 square kilometers, and on local to regional-scale impacts. The combination of both observational data and numerical modelling will be a focus, as will be the characterization of the relevance of small glaciers for water availability.

Job description

In the part of the project linked to this doctorate, the goal is to gain a better understanding of the physical processes that drive the evolution of small Himalayan glaciers at the local scale and to use the gained understanding to project the evolution of the glacier in the region. To this end, detailed monitoring data stemming from both in-situ and remote sensing observations acquired by the Indian project partners will be used in combination with climate data to inform numerical models that simulate past and future glacier changes. Your task will be to further develop such numerical models, assess their robustness and skill, apply them under consideration of the latest climate scenarios, and use them to quantify future glacier changes and the related shifts in water availability and streamflow variability. These model-based activities will target both the local and regional scale, thus providing information that is not only relevant for individual mountain communities but also for regional decision-making.

Your profile

  • You hold a Master's degree in environmental, earth, or climate sciences, environmental engineering, or related fields, and should have a keen interest in the numerical modelling of glaciers over time scales of decades to centuries.
  • Familiarity with a scripting language (such as Matlab, Python, IDL or Julia) is a must, as is experienced in the handling of geospatial data (such as digital terrain models, spatially-distributed climate data, or satellite imagery).
  • A robust glaciology background, as well as an interest in joining glaciological field work are additional assets. Fluency in English, both in oral and written form, is a prerequisite.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

We are a dynamic and international research group, fully dedicated to the study of glaciers and the impacts resulting from their changes. We value a friendly and welcoming working atmosphere, and strive for excellence in all we do. The working languages in our group are English, German, French, and Italian.
 

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

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 our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We are looking forward to receiving your application with the following documents by December 31, 2022:

  •  Letter of motivation
  • your CV
  • copies of your diplomas and transcripts
  • the contact details for two persons willing to act as a reference
  • as well as a filled-in version of this structured questionnaire.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For more information on our group and our activities, please visit our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Matthias Huss (huss@vaw.baug.ethz.ch) or Prof. Dr Daniel Farinotti (daniel.farinotti@ethz.ch).

About ETH Zürich

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.

Curious? So are we.

We are looking forward to receiving your application with the following documents by December 31, 2022:

  •  Letter of motivation
  • your CV
  • copies of your diplomas and transcripts
  • the contact details for two persons willing to act as a reference
  • as well as a filled-in version of this structured questionnaire.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For more information on our group and our activities, please visit our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Matthias Huss (huss@vaw.baug.ethz.ch) or Prof. Dr Daniel Farinotti (daniel.farinotti@ethz.ch).

About ETH Zürich

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.