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Old 30.12.2011, 06:07
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R&D departments in Geneve or Lausanne?

I am an engineer and I am going to defend my PhD thesis in Computer Science next year in some TOP-10 European University. I have not bad results in research and some awards. My research is about advanced methods in numerical optimization, which in principle can be applied everywhere when the problem and objectives are posed as a computer (engineering, financial) model.
I am going to find a job in Switzerland as an R&D engineer. I have two so common questions about the job and salary:
1) I am right about the salary range of 80-100k, given that I have strong skills in programming ? Does PhD make some significant difference in salary?
2) It does not make too much sense to find a job where my PhD thesis will be useless. But it looks like I should apply to any R&D departments I can find. I know many people here work in IT, probably someone can suggest something in Geneve or Lausanne ?
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Old 30.12.2011, 18:15
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Re: R&D departments in Geneve or Lausanne?

If you have strong programming skills, why look for R&D engineer position? Rather SW one? Maybe difference shown in salary too - maybe just guessing...
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Old 30.12.2011, 21:06
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There are R&D centers of at least IBM, Google and MS in Zurich, no idea if any is doing any this type if numerical stuff. There's CERN. EPFL is running the Human Brain Project - that's a modeling monster.
ABB has a semiconductor fab - surely they're doing some research. Investment guys must be doing some crazy modeling.
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Old 30.12.2011, 23:08
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Re: R&D departments in Geneve or Lausanne?

ef777, you are right, Software engineer is an option indeed. I will apply for such positions if there are no any R&D opportunities. The proportion of SW:RD should be about a factor of 10

thank you yacek for the centers you mentioned, big sharks like Google are definitely good places, however one my former colleague passed about 8 interviews there last year and unfortunately was not hired, it is not easy

CERN and EPFL are suitable for scientific career, it means you can be hired as a postdoc for 2-5 years and after the project ends you should find the new one or some permanent position in some university. I want to find more or less stable job, where it makes sense to progress in your project/career.

ABB is a good example, most of such tech-companies are located in German part of Switzerland, why I don't speak German, but French?
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Old 31.12.2011, 21:25
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At ABB German is not always required, which is even more true for the R than for the D positions.
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Old 31.12.2011, 22:01
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Re: R&D departments in Geneve or Lausanne?

A couple of thoughts.

Since you are into modeling, you might want to look at consulting companies that work in the financial industry (specifically for banks and investment funds) in the Geneva area.

When you talk about EPFL, you could also look at some of the big companies that have space at the PSE (the scientific park of the EPFL). There might be something there since these are R&D sites.

You should also talk to the head of the relevant computer department at the EPFL to see what local graduates are doing. He/she should have some ideas if you explain what you are hoping to do.
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Old 03.01.2012, 00:26
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Re: R&D departments in Geneve or Lausanne?

yacek, thank you for your support, I will try to learn German, I had very elementary level 10 years ago

R&D in financial industry looks very attractive, while people usually believe that consulting companies uses best approaches to make money, I do not think it is always the case. I have some experience in time series analysis and prediction using Machine Learning techniques. I found that most strategies just don't work, some other are overfitted to a given (say growing) market like this one http://fundgate.ubs.com/fioverview.d...mwh.arfu&rid=6 .

Thank you Verbier for the link to the scientific park of the EPFL, there are 200 start-ups, it seems that it is a scientific core of the French Switzerland.
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