Program coordinator “Innovation project”

80%-100%, Zurich, fixed-term

Get the chance to organize the most interactive and hands-on mechanical engineering lecture at ETH Zurich - the Innovation Project 2023. More than 350 bachelor students compete in this engineering challenge and learn about agile product development, design, mechatronics, production and project management. Check out last year’s aftermovie and browse the team results on Instagram #innoprojekt22.

With this position, you will be part of the ETH Feasibility Lab, where you will be able to contribute to exciting industry projects and engineering programs in addition to the innovation project. The position will start on 01.01.2023 or by agreement.

Project background

As part of the bachelor's program in mechanical engineering, students in the 3rd semester develop a product from an idea to a functional system in teams of five to six students. They gain insights into the areas of product innovation, agile product development, design, mechatronics, production and project management. The program is accompanied by the concept-based lecture "Innovation Process" and allows students to apply agile product development principles in a creative, competitive, yet managed environment. Incorporating elements from Scrum and Kanban, teams work in two-week sprint cycles, at the end of which they present and reflect on their interim results. At the end of the semester, the teams compete against each other in a competition that puts their systems to the test.

To support the innovation project teams, 40 senior mechanical engineering students are specifically trained to coach engineering teams as part of the Coaching Innovation Projects lecture. Using various product development principles, the coaches guide students through the sprints and iterations of the agile product development process. 

To round out the product development journey, all student teams continuously promote their systems throughout the creative process, complemented by a small social media campaign for their final system.

Job description

You will create a concept, plan and implement an engineering challenge for 350-500 mechanical engineering students. Furthermore, you will coach and lead your part-time assistant and 5-10 student assistants. In addition, you will recruit up to 40 mechanical engineering master students as team coaches. You will organize access to mechatronics kits, 3D printers and laser cutters for students. In this position, you are responsible for financial planning. You will also set up new, multifunctional space in the LEO building for the implementation of the project together with the ETH Feasibility Lab (workshop, co-working, system testing, presentations, coaching).

Your profile

  • MSc degree in mechanical engineering or related fields
  • Self-motivation, goal-oriented and positive attitude
  • Structured and thorough way of working
  • Capable of organizing lots of stuff in parallel
  • Preferably you have gone through the innovation project yourself as a student or coach (not a must)

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

We offer a one-year position, which is extendable for additional years based on performance and funding. ETH Zurich gives you the opportunity to work in a world-top research institution with an international, multi-disciplinary, highly innovative, well-equipped and scientifically stimulating environment. Furthermore, you can benefit from excellent training, career development and exchange opportunities

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 following documents:

  • short letter of motivation
  • CV

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 pd|z can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Kai von Petersdorff-Campen, kaiv@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 following documents:

  • short letter of motivation
  • CV

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 pd|z can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Kai von Petersdorff-Campen, kaiv@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.