Post-Doctoral position in applied economics with a focus on earthquake catastrophe modelling

80%-100%, Zurich, temporary

The observation, causes and impact of earthquakes, as well as the hazard and risks they represent, are the core focus of the research and service activities of the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich. The Risk Center (RC), as a competence center of ETH Zurich, strives to overcome fragmentation in risk research and risk management and serves as a platform to stakeholders from the industry and governments.

Project background
Earthquakes, as extreme events with a low probability but very high impact, represent a significant risk in Switzerland. They are also the one peril with insufficient insurance coverage. The SED and RC are jointly developing a first, open access, national earthquake risk and earthquake consequence model to be released in 2022. This project is commissioned by the Swiss Federal Council and executed by the ETH and by the Federal Offices for the Environment and for Civil Protection. At the same time, the SED together with the RC coordinates an EC funded project on new strategies for real-time earthquake risk reduction for a resilient Europe. This project is a partnership with 20 leading institutions from Europe.

Job description
To strengthen our interdisciplinary team of Earth scientists and engineers in both projects, we are looking for an economist with a strong background and interest in building robust economic cost and consequence models. The position is initially limited to one year, but extension for three (or more) years is highly probable. The primary responsibilities for the postdoctoral researcher are to:

  • Conduct innovative applied and fundamental research on earthquake catastrophe modeling, as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Develop and implement a model for socio-economic cost and consequence modelling at national and regional scale
  • Explore innovative earthquake insurance and re-insurance strategies for Switzerland, embedded in a multi-risk context
  • Develop new approaches for communication, real-time risk-cost-benefit analysis and decision support for civil protection

This position is at the interface between academia, industry stakeholders and cantonal and federal authorities.

Your profile
You have a PhD in economics or a related field. An additional background in earth science, earthquake engineering, actuarial science, uncertainty quantification and natural risk management is considered a plus. The position requires strong abilities in programming and model validation, knowledge on existing loss modeling frameworks (e.g., OASIS) would be welcome. The candidate will bring a high degree of autonomy and communications skills to interact with different stakeholder and expert from different domains. The working language of the core group is English, though knowledge of German or French would be regarded favorably.

ETH Zurich

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.

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Interested?
We look forward to receiving your online application including CV, a list of publication and a letter of motivation. Please apply exclusively via the online application portal. Applications sent by e-mail or post will not be considered.

For further information about the Risk Center and the Swiss Seismological Service, please visit our websites: www.riskcenter.ethz.ch and www.seismo.ethz.ch. For questions about the position, please contact Philippe Roth, Tel. +41 44 632 24 69 or email: philippe.roth@sed.ethz.ch (no applications).


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Deadline for application

2019-10-23


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Deadline for application

2019-10-23


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