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Doctoral Position (m/f/d): Multifunctional and energy-autonomous soil probe systems (MEA-SPS)

The IMTEK laboratory for Design of Microsystems is offering a Doctoral Position (m/f/d): Multifunctional and energy-autonomous soil probe systems (MEA-SPS)
  • Bewerbungsfrist: 04.09.2022
  • Veröffentlicht: 03.08.2022
  • Start-date: At the earliest possible date.
  • Fulltime position
  • Kennziffer: 00002439


Who we are:

The Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg is one of the largest research institutes dedicated to microsystem engineering. The IMTEK Laboratory for Design of Microsystems is working in the field of energy harvesting, low power electronics and wireless communication, with a strong focus on environmental monitoring.

Your Task:

In the context of the Collaborative Research Centre ECOSENSE you will be working on the development of soil probes for measuring CO2 concentration and temperature which will be energy-autonomous through thermo-electric and solar energy harvesting. The goal of the project is to be able to install these probes over a large area grid in a “deploy-and forget” strategy to collect data over long periods of time. This project is embedded in a larger effort to get a deeper understanding of the influence of H2O, CO2 and other components distribution over time by using sensor networks in all parts of a forest – from the soil to the canopy.

On the sensing side, the mechanical design of the probe will be developed by you in collaboration with another group responsible for the individual sensors. The sensing probe will be a separate unit from the harvesting probe, which will be developed by you taking into consideration: soil temperatures in different depth, thermal conductivity of soil with different water content and harvestable solar power on the forest floor to name just some examples. The main challenge of the project is the thermal management within both probes in order to ensure precise and accurate measurement with the sensing probe and to create a sufficiently large temperature difference for thermoelectric energy harvesting in the harvesting probe. All systems will need to be developed for ultra-low power consumption and high efficiency. The development of power management and control/communication electronics is not part of the task – these will be developed in a parallel project.

We are looking for candidates (m/f/d) with a university degree (M.Sc.) in physics, mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, or a comparable subject.

Your qualification will cover several or all of the following areas:

  • Experience in system and mechanical design as well as CAD (we use SolidWorks mostly)
  • Experience in designing and/or building energy harvesting systems (thermal and solar)
  • Experience with heat transfer and thermal management (please indicate which systems)

What we offer

We offer an exciting interdisciplinary topic with a relevant application focus for our society and a salary according to E13 TV-L over a period of 4 years. The possibility for pursuing a doctoral thesis is given, provided that all formal criteria are fulfilled. You can expect modern laboratory equipment and a highly qualified, multicultural team, which will cooperate with you and support you along your professional growth.

Details on the documents required for your application and on the required form of the application are to be found on https://www.cep.uni-freiburg.de/forschungsprojekte/ecosense. Please follow these rules strictly and send your job application in digital form until September 04, 2022.

We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.


Please send your application in English including supporting documents citing the reference number 00002439, by 04.09.2022 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

Universität Freiburg
Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik
Lehrstuhl für Konstruktion von Mikrosystemen
Georges-Köhler-Allee 102
79110 Freiburg im Breisgau

For further information, please contact Dr. Uwe Pelz on the phone number +49 761 203-7503 or E-Mail uwe.pelz@imtek.de.