Post-doctoral researcher and software developer position for sustainable material futures

The Industrial Ecology Group at the University of Freiburg is a place where scientists from different disciplines design and assess sustainable futures. Material production now accounts for almost 25% of global GHG. It is also a major driver of land destruction and water use. To better understand the global sustainability transformation of our material use, over the coming years, our group wants to build the material futures lab. This lab a collaborative modelling tool for building scenarios of future lifestyles and policies and their impact on material cycles and the circular economy. Here, we want to develop research infrastructure to generate consistent scenarios for future service, product, and material demand. We will apply these models to relevant case studies at the city, regional, national, and global levels and assess a broad array of policy options,  lifestyle changes, and technology for a sustainable circular economy. Particular focus shall be given to ambitious low energy and material demand scenarios, for which a consistent micro and macro-economic description also needs to be developed. The use of natural resource, land, and water shall be included as well as future urban forms and lifestyles.

For moving forward with this research agenda we are seeking for a motivated and talented early career researcher who holds (or is about to receive) a doctoral degree in a discipline that involves the study of sustainability transformation from a systems perspective using quantitative methods, including socio-metabolic research, industrial ecology, economics, earth system science, planning science, and others. Applicants need to document a track record of scientific publications involving the modelling of behavior, economic sectors, and/or material cycles. Expert knowledge of a higher programming language (C, Python, etc.) is a requirement.

Also, we are seeking for a motivated and talented software developer who holds or is about to receive an MSc or BSc degree in informatics or an equivalent study program and who can demonstrate experience in software development, modularization, testing, version control, and (optional) database development, interactive visualization, and management of multi-user software.

The candidates need to display genuine interest in advancing sustainability science, open science, and in collaborative science (e.g., via the development of computational infrastructure for cumulative research, collaboration in teams, and version management). Very good knowledge of written and spoken English is required. Good team working skills are a prerequisite.

Work description
The scope of the research of the postdoctoral researcher will include:

  • Contribute to the conceptual development of the material futures lab and
    implementation of modelling routines for the consistent descriptions of sustainable
    material futures from an industrial ecology and economic perspective
  • Conduct case studies for sustainable material futures that feature a consistent
    assessment of different policies, lifestyles, and technologies
  • Support the other team members in their own material futures lab projects and their
    research skill development

The duties of the programmer include:

  • Help modularize, test, and version control the material cycle model code
  • Develop databases for efficient and transparent data handling for both input data
    and model results
  • Build up computational infrastructure to allow educated but non-expert scholars to
    use the model, including thesis students
  • Develop data download and visualization interfaces

Want to learn more?

Visit the full description, including contact information here:

or apply directly here:  for the post-doc  for the programmer

The application deadline is open. Review of applications will commence on Dec. 15, and relevant candidates will be interviewed subsequently until an agreement will be reached and the position will be filled.


Read more / apply
  • Application deadline: Dec 31, 2021
  • University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Industrial Ecology Group at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Freiburg, Germany
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
Read more / apply Back to list
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