Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

Empa’s Center for X-ray Analytics is offering a

Postdoc position in Tensor Tomography / Scientific Computing

Capturing structures without looking at them directly, but rather by probing their interaction with electromagnetic waves - this is the basic principle of multi-modal tensor tomography developed in this ERC funded research project. This technique will enable one to study the arrangement of nanostructures in macroscopic samples, six orders of magnitude larger than its building blocks, thereby allowing one to apprehend the structure of complex hierarchical materials. At the core of the project lays the development of the methodological framework, implemented in an open-source software package allowing for the reconstruction of tensors in each voxel of the 3D tomogram. The approach includes the use of synchrotron X-ray scattering at large scale facilities worldwide, as well as enabling studies with lab-based equipment using both X-ray and optical light.

Apart from method development, the project will also include experimental work on different applications, show-casing the possibilities of the method in materials science samples such as light-weight composites based on cellulose and plasmonic composites as well as on biological tissues.

This interdisciplinary project will be embedded in the newly formed group “Hierarchical Systems” in the Center for X-ray Analytics at Empa and the work will be performed in collaboration with other team-members. The research group focus on the development of advanced X-ray imaging and scattering techniques and their application towards materials with hierarchical structures in soft-matter and biomedical applications. The postdoctoral position includes independent research tasks and can also involve co-supervision of graduate and master students.


Your Tasks

  • Participate in developing multi-modal tensor tomography and its implementation into an open-source software package
  • Apply the method to research questions in materials and biological sciences with our collaboration partners
  • Publish results in high impact journal and present your work at international conferences

Desired profile

  • Scientific computing skills in Python, Matlab or similar high-level environment
  • Proficiency in scientific computing in lower-level languages such as C++ or Fortran is meriting, as is experience with tools and frameworks from software engineering
  • Previous experience in imaging using X-rays or optical light, in particular tomography, is an asset
  • Experience with the analysis of large data set and/or optimization techniques
  • Completed PhD degree in physics, computational or materials sciences or other related areas.
  • Good publication record
  • Interest in interdisciplinary research
  • Language skills: English, German (advantageous)

We offer a challenging position at a materials research institution with outstanding infrastructure and an interdisciplinary surrounding. You can expect significant support and guidance during the whole duration of your project. The candidate will be based at Empa in St. Gallen. The starting date is as soon as possible.
For further information about the position please contact Marianne Liebi,  marianne.liebi@empa.ch and visit our website www.empa.ch/web/s499 and see our Empa-Video

We are looking forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and names and addresses of at least two references. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, Esther Zürcher, Human Resources, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland.