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Postdoctoral Researcher in Modeling, Identification and Control

100%, Zurich, temporary

The Automatic Control Laboratory (IfA) has an extensive research record in both the theory and application of control technology. Our research spans a broad range including theory, computation, and applications within energy, transportation, and robotic domains. We have three faculty members, (Profs. Dörfler, Lygeros & Smith), 8 postdoctoral researchers and over 30 PhD students. We come from all over the world and the working language is English.

Project background

The Automatic Control Laboratory is also one of the lead institutes in the newly formed National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Dependable Ubiquitous Automation. This is a large research consortium supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and involves 17 faculty members from three Swiss universities. The NCCR is growing and is expected to include an additional 30 Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers. The research activities are collaborative and range from the theoretical foundations of optimisation, data science, information processing, and automatic control, through to computational tools and experimental testbeds. Research projects are collaborative and will typically involve multiple faculty and researchers. This Postdoctoral research position will be a part of the NCCR.

Job description

You will work with Prof. Roy Smith on topics of common interest within the domain of modeling, system identification and robust feedback control. You will also be expected to develop independent research directions of our own to support your future career in academic or industrial research. You will assist Prof. Smith with organisational and oversight responsibilities on NCCR projects. You are also expected to mentor and work with Ph.D. student researchers. For those interested in pursuing an academic career, there will also be opportunities to be involved in teaching and other educational activities. The position is funded for at least 2.5 years.

Your profile

You have (or are about to receive) a Doctoral degree in an engineering or physical sciences discipline from an internationally recognised university. You have published research experience in at least one of the following areas: feedback control systems, system identification, or data science. You have an analytical approach to your research and this is demonstrated in your publications. You have strong communication skills (both written and verbal) in English. You prefer working in an open, diverse and cooperative environment. You are interested in developing new research areas as well as helping more junior researchers develop their research skills.

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 with the following documents:

  • Cover letter outlining your availability constraints and giving the names and contact details of three academic references;
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae including: professional summary, education, research and work experience, teaching experience, key skills, journal and conference publication list, seminars, awards and fellowships, and volunteering work;
  • A research proposal (4 pages max.)  describing (i) your planned research, (ii) your experience in this area, (iii) related work from the literature, and (iv) a proposed timeline (for a 2 year project);
  • Up to a maximum of 3 peer-reviewed papers that best represent your work. Please do not submit your Ph.D. thesis;
  • Transcripts of all academic degrees (in English).

All documents must be in PDF format and must not be compressed. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal.

Questions regarding the position should be directed via email to Prof. Roy Smith, (

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