Postdoc Position: Long-term Behaviour of Metastable Rock Slopes in Hydropower Systems

100%, Zurich, temporary

The Chair of Engineering Geology invites applications for a postdoc position in the area of rock slope stability. This postdoc position can be filled by the successful candidate in June or July 2020 for 1.5 years with a possible extension for another 1.5 years.

The Department of Earth Sciences has been consecutively ranked #1 for five years in the QS World University Rankings, Earth & Marine Sciences. The Chair of Engineering Geology consists of about 20 multidisciplinary scientists involved in a leading research and teaching program in quantitative engineering geology and hydrogeology. Detailed information about the Department of Earth Sciences and the Chair of Engineering Geology is available on the website:

Project background

This project aims to conduct fundamental scientific investigations into the mechanisms that govern the long-term behaviour of metastable rock slopes in hydropower systems in China and develop predictive approaches to forecast their future performance over the lifespan of hydropower plants.

Job description

Main tasks include:

  • Development, validation and application of a multiscale and multiphysics model for simulating progressive rock slope destabilisation
  • Reconstruction of slope displacement fields based on radar interferometric and other displacement monitoring data

The salary will be according to ETH standards.

Your profile

The successful candidate must hold a PhD degree (by June 2020) in Earth Sciences, Geological Engineering, Civil Engineering or related fields and be strongly interested in academic research. Knowledge and experience in rock slope stability, displacement monitoring, rock mechanics and numerical modelling are of prime importance. Of additional importance are excellent English communication and writing skills. The successful candidate will be part of the Chair of Engineering Geology at ETH Zurich, and work under the supervision of Dr. Qinghua Lei, Prof. Dr. Simon Löw, and Dr. Andrea Manconi with frequent interactions with professors and PhD students at the partner institution, Tsinghua University in China.

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 including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae which describes your complete personal details and career history, a digital copy of your PhD thesis (if applicable), 2-3 representative publication(s), and detailed contact information of 2 references. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Complete applications should be submitted by 31st January 2020, but are accepted until the position is filled.

For further information regarding the advertised position, please contact Dr. Qinghua Lei at (no applications), Chair of Engineering Geology, ETH Zurich.

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