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PhD positions in Building Archaeology and Construction History

IDB - ETH Zurich

The positions offered refer to a third-party-funded research project on medieval stone arch bridges. Unlike medieval cathedrals or ancient Roman bridges, medieval bridges have received very little attention from Building Archaeology and Construction History so far, although bridges posed a comparable technical, organizational and financial challenge to medieval communities.

The project will mainly focus on on-site building archaeology of the preserved fabric in order to identify the original parts and successive restauration phases, and to reconstruct the original design and building processes. State-of-the-art digital methods and processes will be applied to generate high-precision surveys, providing a basis for the analysis of traces and findings that may permit in-depth insight into the bridges’ construction history. The on-site studies will be complemented by archival research. Research activities will zoom in on some regions with a particularly dense bridge heritage, notably, Occitania and Central Italy.

For more information on how to apply, see the call for applications at the link:

Historical buildings characterize our towns and landscapes. The traces of age and use give them each a unique, individual expression. As monuments, they offer guidance over generations and are material and intellectual components of our individual and collective identity. At the same time, historical objects – regardless of whether or not they are protected as listed monuments – are always authentic testimonies to the history of construction, art, and culture.

Architectural and engineering works are of equal interest to the research activities of the Institute of Construction History and Preservation. The scientific approach serves as a basis for the appropriate assessment of historical buildings. It is essential for understanding their history and for developing strategies towards their long-term preservation – as architectural monuments with the least possible impact on their historical substance and expression – or, if necessary, for their transformation.

The Institute of Construction History and Preservation collaborates with research institutions and scientific associations in Switzerland and abroad. The exchange and cooperation with the various institutions of Swiss heritage preservation is also a priority.

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.