Careers @ EssentialTech Centre

Join us!


At EssentialTech Centre we are looking for world class talent that is passionate about designing and using technology to address problems in the emerging world.

Check out our open positions and apply through the EPFL portal. We look forward to chatting with you!

⇒ Head of Sustainable Development Division

⇒ Project Manager/System Enginner in Assistive Technologies [SEARCH CLOSED]

⇒ GHG Emissions Analyst (Intern or Master’s Project), Geneva Technical Hub Partnership [SEARCH CLOSED]

Current Open Positions

Head of  Sustainable Development Division

As leader of the Sustainable Development Dvision, you will work in close collaboration with research labs on the one hand, and sustainable development actors and beneficiaries on the other hand.

Our ideal candidate is a senior professional with a PhD in a science/technology field and a minimum of 10 years of experience in Sustainable Development. You must be able to lead a highly motivated team with energy and vision.

The work environment is highly stimulating: We are a unique Centre with a passionate team dedicated to bringing innovated solutions to resolve real needs in low- and middle-income countries. We are privileged to work within a world-class academic institution as well as with other actors around the world.

If you’re ready to join the leadership team and help drive our Centre’s next phase, then click here to head to the EPFL job site now.

Project Manager / System Engineer in Assistive Technologies [SEARCH CLOSED]

We’re looking for an engineer motivated to do something out of the ordinary!

Do you have ~3 years R&D experience in Mechatronics, Biomedical, Electronics, Software, or related fields? Imagine leading the development of a robust, efficient and low-cost AI-based navigation system for the visually impaired, adapted to the needs and constraints of low- and middle-income countries.

It’s a unique opportunity to be part of a new field at the frontier between science, technology and global health!

The work is based at our EPFL EssentialTech Centre and in close partnership with several universities in Colombia.

Click here to head over to the EPFL careers page to see if you are our ideal candidate!

GHG Emissions Analyst (Intern or Master’s Project)- Geneva Technical Hub Partnership [SEARCH CLOSED]

Occupation rate – 50-80%, to be discussed

Duration – 3.5 months contract starting on 16 February 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter

Workplace – EssentialTech Center EPFL with remote work possible


The Humanitarian Tech Division (HTD) is a platform focusing on innovation to support humanitarian action. It is hosted within the EPFL EssentialTech Centre which mission is to harness science and technology to drive development, support humanitarian action and foster peace. The HTD also supports the development of training programs in science and technology for the humanitarian sector. It currently works with the ICRC, MSF, Terre des Hommes and other humanitarian institutions.

In this context it established a collaboration with the Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA-HA) and the UNHCR to provide scientific and technical support to the Geneva Technical Hub (GTH), a recently created initiative by UNHCR and SHA-HA. The aim of the GTH is to assist UNHCR field operations with practical, innovative and optimized context-specific technical solutions to complex challenges, accompanied with sound technical guidance and tools. Along these lines, UNHCR intends to design and implement a user-friendly tool for the estimation of Green House Gases (GHG), namely CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions, from its operational responses in support of refugees. Such tool would focus on emissions produced by field activities related to Energy, WASH, Shelter, Site planning and Environment programs in refugee settlements and could eventually be used directly by various country operations and by non technical staff.

The GHG Emissions Analyst will support the development of a Green House Gas (GHG) calculation tool applicable to refugee camps and responding to the needs of field staff. She/He will be responsible for assessing the carbon footprint of a representative small-scale UNHCR case study. She/He will also test the tool with real-life data, support any requested modifications of the tool and provide training on its utilization.


  • Support review of existing GHG tools including UNHCR’s excel-based draft tool and its corresponding calculations
  • Support validation of Excel emission calculations ensuring that all direct and indirect GHG sources within UNHCR operations are accounted for (e.g. based on IPCC 5th AR, Gold Standard Methodologies, GHG Protocol)
  • Prioritize the biggest emitters over all sectors
  • Assess the carbon footprint of a representative small-scale UNHCR case study via a professional LCA software
  • Validate the emissions with a GHG tool to be developed by IT for Research (ENAC)
  • Support with preparation of a guide on how to use the GHG tool
  • Support with training on the tool for UNHCR staff



  • Knowledge of climate change and the impact of Green House Gases (GHGs)
  • Comfortable in English
  • Proactive and autonomous
  • Good communication skills


  • Experience in coordinating multi-stakeholders
  • Not shy to ask questions to other groups with respect to their GHG calculation tools such as MyClimate in Switzerland
  • Passion in supporting environmental causes for the developing world
  • Knowledge of International Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) reports

To apply, please contact:

Dr. Cara Tobin, Environment / Energy Lead Scientist