Jakob did a Master in Environmental Engineering at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), working on ice cliffs on debris covered glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas. He also holds a degree in Classical Music from Innsbruck (Austria).

His PhD focuses on closing the water balance in mountainous catchments in High Mountain Asia, looking specifically at the contribution of glaciers to runoff. A lot of the time he therefore spends in the field in Nepal and Pakistan. He is also interested and involved in Research in mass movements in high altitudes (avalanches, landslides) and Greenland.

Updates on the work can be found on the Group's website, MountainHydrology and via the twitter handle @rugpundits.  The occasional work in the field of Political Geography and non peer-reviewed publications are updated on his personal website.

Strategic themes / Focus areas
Scientific expertise
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Curriculum vitae Download PDF
Professional experience

2016 - present
Universiteit Utrecht: PhD Candidate

2012 - 2016
hydrosolutions ltd. (Zurich, Switzerland): Environmental Engineer

∗ Global Mapping of Arsenic Groundwater Contamination (
∗ Hydrological Modeling of the Vakhsh Cascade (Team Lead, Research, Tajikistan)
∗ iMoMo Monitoring Project/Irrigation Calculator (Kyrgyzstan, West Africa)
∗ Groundwater Monitoring Management (Lead for Field Installations, China)

2013 - 2016
ETH Zurich: Research associate

Department of Water Resource Management and Hydrology
∗ further developing an energy balance model for ice cliffs on debris covered glaciers
∗ field work Nepal
∗ mapping ice cliffs and lakes with high-resolution DEMs and orthophotos
∗ collaborations with U. Utrecht (W. Immerzeel) and Cambridge U. (I. Willis)

2006 - present

Member of Board / Project Coordinator in Humanitarian Aid Pakistan
∗ co - project lead of post-earthquake reconstruction of houses and schools in Bagh/AJK (~
200 000 €, private donors)
∗ project lead of vocational training center in Dhulli/AJK (20 000 €, funding by Austrian
Development Cooperation)
∗ project lead of Basic Health Unit in Baghbanan/KP (130 000 €, funding by Austrian
Development Cooperation and DFID subsequently)
∗ project supervision visit to Gorno Badakhshan/Tajikistan (climate change resilience
programme in cooperation with AKDN, Tajikistan)

2003 - 2010

Staff Member at Environmental Engineering Consultants (Austria)
Solid Waste Consultancy Company in Innsbruck/Austria
∗ Assistant in Municipal Waste Analysis in Austria, Italy, UAE and Bulgaria


  • German (native)
  • English (professional)
  • Urdu/Hindi (intermediate)
  • French (elementary)
  • Italian (elementary)

2011 - 2014
ETH Zurich

Master Environmental Engineering


2003 - 2014
Landesonservatorium Tirol

Concert Diploma Violoncello

2007 - 2010
ETH Zurich

Bachelor Environmental Engineering

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All publications
  2017 - Scholarly publications
Miles, Evan S., Steiner, Jakob F. & Brun, Fanny (27.08.2017). Highly variable aerodynamic roughness length (z0) for a hummocky debris-covered glacier. Journal of Geophysical Research, 122 (16), (pp. 8447-8466) (20 p.).
Miles, Evan Stewart, Steiner, Jakob, Willis, Ian C., Buri, Pascal, Immerzeel, Walter Willem, Chesnokova, Anna & Pellicciotti, Francesca (2017). Pond dynamics and supraglacial-englacial connectivity on debris-covered Lirung Glacier. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5 ((in press)).
  2016 - Scholarly publications
Brun, Fanny, Buri, Pascal, Miles, Evan S., Wagnon, Patrick, Steiner, J.F., Berthier, Etienne, Ragettli, S., Kraaijenbrink, P.D.A., Immerzeel, W.W. & Pellicciotti, Francesca (2016). Quantifying volume loss from ice cliffs on debris-covered glaciers using high-resolution terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry. Journal of Glaciology, 62 (234), (pp. 684-695).
Buri, Pascal, Miles, Evan S., Steiner, J.F., Immerzeel, W.W., Wagnon, Patrick & Pellicciotti, Francesca (2016). A physically based 3-D model of ice cliff evolution over debris-covered glaciers. Journal of geophysical research. Earth surface, 121 (12), (pp. 2471-2493).
Buri, Pascal, Pellicciotti, Francesca, Steiner, Jakob F, Miles, Evan S. & Immerzeel, Wouter W (2016). A grid-based model of backwasting of supraglacial ice cliffs over debris-covered glaciers. Annals of Glaciology, 57 (71), (pp. 199-211) (13 p.).
Miles, Evan S., Pellicciotti, Francesca, Willis, Ian C., Steiner, Jakob F., Buri, Pascal & Arnold, Neil S. (2016). Refined energy-balance modelling of a supraglacial pond, Langtang Khola, Nepal. Annals of Glaciology, 57 (71), (pp. 29-40) (12 p.).
Miles, Evan S., Willis, Ian C., Arnold, Neil S., Steiner, J.F. & Pellicciotti, Francesca (2016). Spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability of supraglacial ponds in the Langtang Valley of Nepal, 1999 to 2013. Journal of Glaciology
Steiner, J. & Pellicciotti, F. (2016). Variability of air temperature over a debris-covered glacier in the Nepalese Himalaya. Annals of Glaciology, 57 (71), (pp. 295-307) (13 p.).
  2015 - Scholarly publications
Steiner, Jakob F, Pellicciotti, Francesca, Buri, Pascal, Miles, Evan S., Immerzeel, Wouter W & Reid, Tim D (2015). Modeling ice cliff backwasting on a debris covered glacier in the Nepalese Himalayas. Journal of Glaciology
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Additional functions and activities

Board Member proLoka (NGO, Austria;

Senior Comissioning Editor e-IR (UK,

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Full name
J.F. Steiner MSc Contact details
Willem C. van Unnikgebouw

Heidelberglaan 2
Room 124
The Netherlands

Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 6830
Mo Tue Wed Thu Fr
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Last updated 12.10.2017