Research Assistant Digital Underground - Solutions for Mapping Buried Services

100%, Singapore, temporary

We are looking for a talented and motivated individual to join our team in Singapore and investigate state-of-the-art solutions for mapping buried underground utilities. You will have the opportunity to conduct exploratory research to identify these solutions, try out selected technologies in the field, and work closely together with excellent academic peers from Switzerland and Singapore, local government and industry stakeholders.

Project background

To create new space for its growing needs, Singapore is going underground. Reliable and accurate information of underground utilities is a key enabler of good and efficient decisions made by planners, land administrators, developers and engineers. Conversely, a lack of reliable information can lead to a less than optimal use of underground space, lengthy and costly planning, design and development processes, and risks to critical infrastructure resilience or workers' safety. Although accurate data of newly built (exposed) utilities may be captured with relative ease, improving the accuracy of information on existing buried services is a challenge that remains to be solved.

In this project, we aim to make a significant contribution to solving this pressing problem both in Singapore and globally. We will research, develop, demonstrate, and evaluate an integrated, rapid, and cost-effective workflow in a realistic setting. The workflow will comprise 1) capturing newly built and existing underground services and assets on-site, 2) providing a reliable 3D representation and associated documentation of these services and assets, and 3) their visualisation after covering up.

Job description

Starting in June 2020, you will identify and investigate novel solutions for capturing 3D data of buried underground utility services. 

You will join us in Singapore as part of an exciting new collaboration between ETH Zürich, the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore-ETH Centre. Your work will tie in closely with Singapore's Digital Underground programme. Prof. Dr. Andreas Wieser at D-BAUG ETH Zürich is primary advisor to this position.

The duration of the appointment is one year.

Please note that the employment will be at the Singapore-ETH Centre and local working regulations will apply. Workplace is Singapore. 

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • Identify the types of buried underground utilities in Singapore which have to be mapped and compile a list of them indicating data capture opportunities and constraints.
  • Building on the work from Digital Underground Phase 1, through additional desktop research and expert consultations, establish an overview of existing and upcoming/potential solutions for mapping buried services of the identified types.
  • Work with partners from industry and academia to evaluate the feasibility of the most promising available solutions for selected utility types from the above list conducting appropriate field trials.
  • Collect and analyse related data to support other team members' research activities.
  • Deliver recommendations for the application of the identified solutions and for future research and development.

We offer you:

  • An opportunity to do impactful work on a globally relevant issue.
  • Ample opportunity to test and validate your work in the real world or with real-world data, based on already well-established connections with local Singaporean government agencies, contractors and technology providers.
  • A clean, modern, and progressive work environment with competitive compensation commensurate to your skills and expertise.
  • A diverse and interdisciplinary cast of colleagues, with plenty of opportunities to interact and collaborate with researchers from fields such as architecture, urban planning, social science, civil engineering, geomatics engineering, and computer science.

Your profile

You can demonstrate that you possess the following:

  • Experience and an academic degree in geophysics, geomatics engineering or a related field such as civil engineering.
  • Some experience working with existing buried utility locating and mapping solutions, such as ground penetrating radar solutions and electromagnetic locators.
  • An open mindset, ready to think of solutions that are beyond what is currently on the market.
  • The capability to organise your own work and to solve problems independently.
  • Fluent English and very good communication skills which you apply comfortably and proactively.

Singapore-ETH Centre

The Singapore-ETH Centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes focussed on sustainable and liveable cities, resilient urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare. The centre is home to a community of over 100 doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory, Future Resilient Systems, and Future Health Technologies.
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We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: a letter of motivation, a CV, electronic copies of your academic diplomas and certificates, and contact details for at least 2 referees. 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 Digital Underground project and Singapore-ETH Centre can be found on our websites and Questions regarding the position should be directed to Mr. Rob van Son, email (no applications).

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