MEMO2: MEthane goes MObile – MEsurements and MOdelling

ESR6: Mid-infrared laser spectroscopy for three dimensional methane mapping by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)


Supervisor: Dr. Lukas Emmenegger (Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland), co-supervisor: Dr. Huilin Chen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Employer: Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland

Project description: The PhD student at Empa will focus on the development and application of a greenhouse gas analyzer, using mid-IR laser spectroscopy, for deployment on unmanned aereal vehicles (UAVs). For this task, the candidate can rely on a laboratory prototype which will be further improved with respect to its spectroscopic performance and adapted for UAV deployment. Applications will include the study of anthropogenic and natural methane sources. Several extended visits at partner institutes will support the multidisciplinary character of this research.

We are searching for: The Laser Spectroscopy group at Empa is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to work in the field of laser based sensor development and application within the European Marie Slodowska-Curie ITN project MEMO2. The position is immediately available for a candidate with an excellent master’s degree in physics, chemistry or a related discipline. Furthermore, a strong interest in atmospheric and environmental sciences are required. We expect excellent English language skills; knowledge of German is advantageous. Candidates must be willing to travel abroad for secondments and measurement campaigns, and to present their research to an international research community. As this project requires close collaboration within the consortium, candidates are expected to be excellent team players. The participation in workshops and secondments during the project is mandatory. According to EU eligibility criteria, researchers may be of any nationality, BUT must be at their early carrier stage and may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the application deadline.

We offer: We offer a highly stimulating research environment with excellent infrastructure and a broad interdisciplinary surrounding. Working place is Dübendorf, Switzerland. The PhD-student will be registered at ETH (Prof. B. Wehrli), in the Group of Aquatic Chemistry / Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics. MSCA-ETN projects are part of Horizon 2020 and offer attractive salaries and working conditions following the conditions as described in the respective work programs.

Selection procedure:  The selection procedure will follow the Code of Conduct for Recruitment. Candidates will be selected first on EU eligibility criteria, second on qualifications.

Deadline: Eligible applications received before 31 March 2017 will receive full consideration.

Contact: All applications must be submitted online at A copy should be send to The application material should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, copies of university and high-school degrees (including grades) and either two letters of recommendation or contact information of two people that can be contacted for reference. For more information on the MEMO2 project, including this and other vacancies, please visit the MEMO2 website.

For more information on the position please visit our website or contact Dr. Lukas Emmenegger, phone +41 58 765 46 99, email: