PhD in Alpine Mass Movements and Machine Learning

at ETH Zürich
Published April 12, 2023
Location Zürich, Switzerland
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


The research group of Prof. Dr. Jordan Aaron (Engineering Geology, Geological Institute) is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with a strong interest in earth observation (EO), alpine mass movements, and machine learning methods. The research activities are in cooperation with the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, and the project will be mainly supervised by PD Dr. Andrea Manconi. The position is expected to start in October 2023 and is fully funded for 4 years.

Job description

You will work in close cooperation with several researchers at ETH Zurich, SLF Davos, CNR Italy, and the Swiss Data Science Center to identify, develop, and apply machine learning strategies to detect and classify active mass movements based on satellite-based synthetic aperture radar imagery. The project relies on a large dataset acquired and analyzed in the past 20 years by the Federal Office for Environment (FOEN) over the Swiss Alps.

Your profile

  • Msc. in Engineering Geology, Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing, Geography, or related fields.
  • Previous experience in EO data analysis, especially on satellite radars, is a preferential asset.
  • Interest in alpine mass movements and machine learning methods.
  • Motivation, creativity, independence, and ability to work in a team.
  • Excellent English communication skills.

We offer

You will work mainly at ETH premises in Zurich, but regular visits to the SLF offices in Davos are expected. We offer a top-level research environment with several PhD students and full support from experienced scientists. Involvement in the educational activities of the Engineering Geology group and SLF Davos (lectures, workshops, and BSc/MSc project supervision) will enrich your communication, teaching and coaching skills.

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:

  • A brief cover letter summarizing your motivation to apply for this position
  • A CV
  • Transcripts
  • The contact details of two references

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 Department of Earth Sciences can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to PD Dr. Andrea Manconi, Email: (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.