2 PhD positions in High-Voltage and High-Energy Particle Detector Engineering

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The research focus of the high-voltage laboratory is on the understanding and application of effects related to high electric field strengths and voltages, mainly but not only in the area of future electric power transmission technology. We are seeking to hire two Ph.D. students.

Project background

The European Commission is currently revising the F-gas regulation in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases with high global warming potential (GWP). As these compounds are used in many technical applications, alternatives are urgently sought after. The present openings are both related to finding and characterizing alternatives gases and gas mixtures with lower environmental footprint; one to replace Sulfurhexafluorid (SF6) in high-voltage switchgear and the other to replace R134a in gaseous detectors of high-energy particle physics experiments at CERN.

Job description

Research Position 1:

Today, SF6 is the most important gas for high-voltage insulation. Its global warming potential is 23‘500 times higher than that of CO2 and research and development efforts are underway to find alternative gas mixtures. The research topic will be the experimental investigation of novel molecules and gas mixtures with a focus on the practical application in high-voltage switchgear.

Research Position 2:

About 70% of CERN’s total greenhouse gas emissions originate from gaseous detectors. The main gas is HFC-134a with a GWP of 1’430 and research efforts are underway to find an alternative gas mixture that can be used in the existing detectors. The research topic will be the derivation of optimal environmentally friendly gas mixtures by numerical means and their experimental validation.

Your profile

  • You have graduated from a university and received an excellent degree in electrical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering or a related subject.
  • You are motivated and interested in working within an interdisciplinary research group.
  • You work systematically and independently, are well organized and can present your results.
  • Prior experience in high-voltage engineering or plasma physics is of advantage, but not mandatory.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

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 with the standard documents.

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 High Voltage Laboratory can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Mr Franck, email [franck@eeh.ee.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 with the standard documents.

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 High Voltage Laboratory can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Mr Franck, email [franck@eeh.ee.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.