PhD position in Large-Scale Robotic 3D Concrete Printing

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The research group Digital Building Technologies, situated at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich, seeks a highly motivated PhD candidate to work on the development of a large-scale robotic 3D concrete printing process.

Project background

This PhD research project is associated with the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication (NCCR DFAB) – an interdisciplinary research program that aims at fostering a digital building culture and development of innovative design methods and construction technologies for architecture, engineering, and construction.

Building upon the ongoing research in 3DP concrete within the NCCR DFAB, this project concerns strategic advancements in 3D printing for increasing the field of possible architectural applications of this fabrication method. The doctoral thesis will be pursued in collaboration with research colleagues from other groups at ETH Zurich specializing in construction robotics, material science, and structural engineering. The project will start upon mutual agreement, earliest by December 1st, 2022.

Job description

Within this interdisciplinary endeavour, you will co-develop methods for large-scale robotically 3D printing with concrete. The project involves designing 3DP concrete structures and the development of custom software and hardware tools for large-scale reinforced concrete prototypes. Your research will encompass design studies, automatic data generation for 3DP, the development of print-path strategies, prototyping, and testing. The project aims to culminate in large-scale demonstrators to be produced in the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory of ETH Hönggerberg.

Your profile

We are looking for a talented and motivated architect, designer, or engineer with proven design and research experience. Your profile requires outstanding skills in computational design, 3D printing, and robotic fabrication, as well as an interest in hardware development. We expect programming experience (e.g. Python or C#) and hands-on experience with tool development. You must enjoy research through coding, physical prototyping, and architectural design.

You should be fluent in English, demonstrate a high level of initiative and independence, and enjoy working in a diverse and interdisciplinary research team. Furthermore, you must hold a Master's degree acquired at the university level (equivalent to the FHEQ-Level 7) in architecture or related fields.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

Working at our research group and within the NCCR DFAB offers:

  • High-profile research projects in the field of robotic manufacturing and computational design
  • Collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment 
  • A rewarding, inspiring working environment with a flat hierarchy, and open culture in a diverse and international team
  • Unique large-scale robotic fabrication laboratory with excellent hardware equipment and technical support
  • Flexible working hours, part-time home office availability
  • Training opportunities and access to support programs (e.g. mentoring) and networks, opening perspectives for career development
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 look forward to receiving your online application containing the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Portfolio of your work in academia and practice
  • Contact details of at least two references

Please apply exclusively via the online application portal. Applications sent by e-mail or postal services will not be considered. To learn more about us, please visit the websites https://dbt.arch.ethz.ch/ and www.dfab.ch. Questions regarding the position can be directed to Mario Guala, guala@arch.ethz.ch (no applications).

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 look forward to receiving your online application containing the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Portfolio of your work in academia and practice
  • Contact details of at least two references

Please apply exclusively via the online application portal. Applications sent by e-mail or postal services will not be considered. To learn more about us, please visit the websites https://dbt.arch.ethz.ch/ and www.dfab.ch. Questions regarding the position can be directed to Mario Guala, guala@arch.ethz.ch (no applications).

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.