Software Developer / Postdoctoral Researcher - Planning Support System

Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zürich, ETHZ

WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland

Your Tasks

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Software Developer / Postdoctoral Researcher - Planning Support System

ETH Zurich is one of the leading universities of the world with a strong focus on science and engineering. In 2010 it established the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF) to do interdisciplinary research on pressing problems.

The Singapore-ETH Centre is home to a community of doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory , Future Resilient Systems , and Future Health Technologies . The centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes, with the shared vision of translating research to practical solutions for more sustainable and liveable cities, resilient physical and social urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare systems.

Project background

The Cities Knowledge Graph (CKG) project is a collaboration between the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) and the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (Cambridge CARES).

The three year project will develop a planning support system, building on knowledge graph technology, to integrate information and assessments from multiple planning-related knowledge domains (e.g. energy, mobility, or built form). This platform will be demonstrated in multiple use cases, at different planning scales, and tested with planning practitioners.

SEC is looking for talented and motivated professionals to design, develop, test, and deliver this prototype.

Join us if you want to:

  • Work in an attractive workplace in Singapore, in a unique and world-leading research environment.
  • Work alongside SEC’s Collaborative Interactive Visualisation and Analysis Laboratory (CIVAL).
  • Join a team of highly talented people from two top universities.
  • Have the opportunity to shape and develop cutting edge research at the nexus of computer science and urban research.

For more information on the project, consult our web page .

Job description

Starting July 2020, or at a later date to be agreed upon, we are looking for a talented software developer to join our interdisciplinary team based at the Singapore ETH-Centre in Singapore. Depending on your background, you can be hired as software developer or postdoctoral researcher.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Developing the prototype Cities Knowledge Graph platform, particularly (but not exclusively) the planning support system that urban planners will use.
  • Contributing to the architecture and design of the CKG platform, working alongside several other developers/researchers (who will be developing the knowledge graph system).
  • Collaborating in a small software development team using an agile approach, setting up and delegating development tasks to others.
  • Integrating and testing functionalities, use cases, and user feedback.
  • Participating in and contributing to team meetings and other interactions with key stakeholders.

Your profile

For these responsibilities, you should:

  • Have a PhD, or a Masters degree and significant experience, in a relevant field (e.g. Computer Science, Software Development, Geomatics, Engineering, or Mathematics).
  • Be capable of developing software applications (back-end). Experience in web-based and front-end development are significant benefits.
  • Have experience and/or interest in developing planning support tools, and have a good understanding of geographic information systems.
    • You have experience developing 3D geospatial data visualizations using off the shelf applications (e.g. ArcGIS Pro, CityEngine, Bentley OpenCities) as well as custom ones using available libraries (e.g. CesiumJS, Mapbox).
    • Experience with extending existing GIS applications with new modules and/or using scripting languages for geospatial data processing and analysis is a plus.
  • Be proficient in at least one of the following programming languages: Python,Java, JavaScript, C#. Willing and able to adopt other languages.
  • Be a self-motivated and independent learner who is not afraid to develop and test novel ideas.
  • Be a proactive communicator who can signal issues and commit to targets. You have at least a professional working proficiency in English.

To further highlight your suitability, demonstrate that you:

  • Have been part of collaborations between people from various (scientific) backgrounds.
  • Have experience with Unity.
  • Have experience setting up and managing a DevOps infrastructure for deployment and testing.
  • Can present your work and ideas in an engaging and effective way.
  • Are a team player that can motivate others.
  • Have knowledge of/interest in urban development and planning.
  • Have experience in academic writing.

Singapore-ETH Centre

The Singapore-ETH Centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes focussed on sustainable and liveable cities, resilient urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare. The centre is home to a community of over 100 doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory, Future Resilient Systems, and Future Health Technologies.


You will be notified if selected for an interview. Interviews can take place at SEC in Singapore, or remotely.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Pieter Herthogs and Aurel von Richthofen by email (no applications).

  • Dr Pieter Herthogs (herthogs [at] arch[.]ethz[.]ch)
  • Dr Aurel von Richthofen (vonrichthofen [at] arch[.]ethz[.]ch)

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • A short cover letter explaining your interest in the project and position
  • Your CV, preferably tailored to this position
  • Contact details for at least 2 referees
    • Each of these referees should send us a reference letter directly
  • A portfolio or other document (e.g. presentation) that illustrates your experience in developing software platforms, particularly planning support tools
  • If shareable, two examples of documents that you wrote in support of your development work (e.g. user manual, paper)
  • If available, one example of a slide deck (presentation) that you developed

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 Singapore-ETH Centre can be found on our website ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .


In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 154496.

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