PhD position in Human-Centric Sensing and Building Controls

Job Type
Job Rank
PhD student
Job Institution
EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne)
Job Description

Position summary
EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) invites applications for a PhD student position in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering. The project, led by Prof. Dusan Licina, will be based in the Human-Oriented Built Environment Lab (HOBEL) at the EPFL Fribourg campus. The project aims to optimize indoor environmental quality and human well-being by facilitating the shift from standard environmental controls to human-centered controls. The specific objectives will be to: 1) optimize selection of various sensing approaches (environmental, physiological, behavioral) to holistically measure indoor air quality and thermal environment around humans; and to 2) deploy and validate cost-effective and user-friendly personal monitoring and surveying solutions for continuous and longitudinal large-scale study on optimized control for well-being-related improvements in buildings. The project will be executed under co-supervision by Prof. Dolaana Khovalyg ( and Prof. Colin Jones (
The research focus of HOBEL is centered on advancing the knowledge of the intersections between people and the built environment with an aim to ensure high indoor environmental quality for building occupants with minimum energy input. The key mission of HOBEL is to improve the knowledge in the domains of indoor air quality, assessment of human exposure to airborne pollutants, dynamics and fate of pollutants in buildings, advanced energy efficient ventilation systems and controls, tools and methods for enhanced building environmental monitoring.

Your profile
HOBEL is committed to investing in the next generation of exceptional researchers, and applications are welcomed from high-caliber candidates. Selected candidates will seek to pursue advanced study that is aligned with HOBEL’s mission. Successful candidates should:
• Hold a Master’s degree (or to be near its completion) in Civil, Architectural, Environmental, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science or a related discipline.
• Be interested in topics related to building sustainability, HVAC systems, building ventilation, indoor air quality (aerosol dynamics, indoor particulate matter, human exposure, etc), thermal comfort (local and overall), human factors/human perception related to the built environment, human productivity, health and well-being in the built environment
• Have strong interest and aptitude in experiments with humans, building experimental tools, and multi-modal data analysis
• Be team-oriented and have good interpersonal skills
• Possess strong written and oral communication skills in English
• Solid programming and data handling skills (MATLAB, R, Python, or similar) are desirable.

Main duties and responsibilities
• Cutting-edge research including experimental design, data collection and analysis, and dissemination
• Tight collaboration with the project partners and participation in working meetings
• Teaching assistantship
• Part-time supervision of MSc students

How to apply
Applicants should send in a single PDF file (max. 5 MB) including a motivation letter describing their research interests and qualifications (max. 2 pages), a CV and publication list (the latter if applicable), grade transcripts, names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) for two references, and a copy of their diploma/masters thesis to: Prof. Dusan Licina, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPFL:

with the following email subject: “PhD application – Human-Centric Sensing and Building Controls”.

Note: To be enrolled in the EPFL PhD program, the candidate also needs to apply to the Doctoral Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering (EDCE). For EDCE, the three application deadlines each year are January 15th, April 30th and September 15th. More information available online.

Intended start date for PhD students is in Spring 2022; however, some degree of flexibility is permitted. Applications are being reviewed as received with an interest in early appointment. Positions will remain open until filled.

What we offer
• Fundamental and application-driven project that will allow you to make a strong contribution to the research community and the society
• National and international development opportunities through collaborations within EPFL and with industry
• Experimental experience together with outstanding infrastructure and an international working environment that will give you a comprehensive research portfolio
• A dynamic, interdisciplinary and young research group and a great working atmosphere and ample opportunities for professional and personal development with access to many continuing education courses
• Career planning and networking opportunities through conferences
• Competitive salaries (…)

Please note, PhD positions are awarded initially for one year. After one year of successful probation, the initial contract can be extended up to a total of four years.

For more about doctorate program at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, see:…
For more information about HOBEL, see:
For more information about Prof. Dusan Licina, see:
For more information about EPFL, see:
Posted: 21 November 2022