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PhD Position in Immersive Wave Experimentation for Realizing Metamaterials, Focusing Functions and Space-Time Transformations

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Exploration and Environmental Geophysics group has an opening for an ambitious and talented PhD candidate, starting starting between April 1st and September 1st, 2021. The position has a strong experimental component that will take place in the Centre for Immersive Wave Experimentation (CIWE), a novel wave propagation laboratory recently established at ETH. The real-time, complete level of control over the boundary conditions provided by the CIWE infrastructure will allow us to experimentally observe unprecedented wave phenomena.

Project background

In the current project, we explore the use of so-called immersive boundary conditions (IBCs) for real-time control of physical wavefields at both internal and external boundaries of an experimentation domain, with the goal to establish novel, broadband techniques for 2D and 3D meta-material characterization. This allows us, among other things, to realize non-periodic time-materials, whose properties are dynamically switched, and to study the physics of waves at time discontinuities. In particular, a link between wave propagation in time-materials and single-sided inverse-scattering will be explored which enables the experimental determination of so-called focusing functions that suppress multiple reflections at physical boundaries.

Job description

The student will use IBCs and our IWE laboratories to research and implement a framework for experimentally realizing 1D, 2D and 3D single unit-cell phononic crystals, as well as 1D and 2D parity-time symmetric media with variable gain, among other things.

Your profile

A PhD student with a significant interest and experience in the field of physical acoustics experimentation will be recruited. The successful candidate should hold an MSc degree in Geophysics, Physics, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering or similar and should have a strong background in wave propagation.

We can offer a dynamic workplace with highly qualified scientists, excellent computational facilities, a broad range of state-of-the-art geophysical equipment, including access to the facility for immersive experimentation ( In addition, our group has access to the HPC systems at ETH. The Exploration and Environmental Geophysics group is embedded in a vibrant Earth Science department.

ETH Zurich

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.
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We look forward to receiving your online application until April 1st 2021 with the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (incl. names of 3 references)
  • MSc Diploma (incl. grade certificates)
  • Motivation Letter

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

Further information about the Exploration and Environmental Geophysics group can be found on our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Dirk-Jan van Manen at or Dr. Marc Serra-Garcia at (no applications).

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