PhD position (with the University of Basel)

Autonomous Chemical Synthesis Systems

Ref. 2021_040

With 30 research groups and almost 100 researchers involved, the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering is focusing on systems chemistry and biology for the creation of molecular factories. As part of this research initiative, the University of Basel and IBM Research Europe - Zurich are jointly offering a PhD position. Your work will target the development of on-chip catalysis networks composed of wall-coated flow microreactors with reconfigurable reaction sites whose reaction conditions are controlled by artificial intelligence. The focus of your research will be on

  • design, fabrication and characterization of microfluidic systems and embedded on-line analytics,
  • development and testing of scalable functionalization strategies,
  • exploration of new synthetic pathways, and
  • optimization of the chemical synthesis system using neural networks and machine-learning algorithms.

The project offers unique insight into today's interdisciplinary and international research and learning environment with interfaces and networking opportunities to business, university, health care and life sciences. Excellent training possibilities in state-of-the-art research methodology and a supportive environment will help to shape and drive your scientific project to successful results. The position will be located at IBM Research Europe - Zurich (Rüschlikon) with access to the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center. As an employee of the NCCR MSE you will also share the benefits of all employees of the University of Basel.


Applicants are expected to hold a master degree in a natural science or an engineering field and to have a broad interest in chemistry, microfabrication, automatization, artificial intelligence, biology and medicine. Further experience with data analysis, communication and presentation skills as well as practical clean-room experience would be of added value. If you are enthusiastic, willing to learn and explore, and want to become part of an open, collaborative and multi-cultural team dedicated to scientific excellence, then please apply below.


IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.

How to apply

If you are interested in this position and you fulfill all the requirements, please submit your application including a motivation letter, a complete curriculum vitae and the names of at least two references.

For more information on technical questions please contact Dr. Emanual Lörtscher ().