PhD researcher: Circular Transition of Offshore Wind Mills Materials

VACANCY PhD Circular Transition of Offshore Wind Mills Materials

Job title: PhD student

Department: Green chemistry and technology 

Occupancy rate: 100%

Type contract: limited duration

Closing date: 15/02/2022

Diploma: master in environmental engineering, bioscience engineering or similar

Job description

We welcome applications for a full-time PhD position within the Research Group Sustainable Systems Engineering (STEN) of the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, UGent. The PhD student will be appointed in a fellowship position on the project "Circular Transition of Offshore Wind Mills Materials or CTO”.


A short summary of the CTO project:

CTO is a Flemish ICON project, coordinated by Parkwind, and the aim is mainly to prepare the industry for the upcoming End of life (EoL) phase of offshore wind farms. This will be done by assessing the impact over its full lifecycle based upon all three sustainability pillars (economic, environmental and social) and elucidating technical and societal challenges and technology gaps in this EoL phase. The impact assessment framework will cover both existing offshore wind technologies (ex-posteriori analysis) as well as future offshore wind energy technologies (ex-ante analysis). The CTO project aims to address both the EoL challenge as improving the sustainability throughout the lifecycle.

The project consists of five work packages: 1) Identification of potential offshore wind energy value chain scenarios and selection of three scenario sets, 2) Assessment of the various offshore operations (installation, O&M and decommissioning) and prioritizing one or two scenarios with alternative offshore operations, 3) Assessment of the material composition and onshore operations (material extraction, manufacturing and EoL) and prioritizing one or two scenarios with alternative material compositions, 4) Prospective sustainability assessment of the selected scenarios, combining material flow analysis (MFA) with a Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis (LCSA) approach, suitable for both existing as well as future offshore wind technologies, 5) Conclusions and recommendations that may enable implementing a life cycle and sustainability mindset in the development of future windfarms.

As the research group STEN is involved in all WPs as described above, your PhD will be built upon these tasks within the CTO project.


Job Profile

Candidates are expected to have an engineering background and/or affinity with sustainability analysis methods such as life cycle assessment. For this project we are looking for someone who is critical, analytical and has a sense of initiative. Affinity with plastic food packaging is a plus.

Other profile requirements:

- You hold a master's degree in environmental engineering, bioscience engineering, or equivalent.

- You are interested in scientific research in order to obtain a doctoral degree.

- You have good writing and presentation skills.

- You have a very good oral and written knowledge of academic English (speaking Dutch is a plus as the CTO project contains of a Flemish consortium).

- Additional plus points: 1) You have experience in carrying out quantitative and/or qualitative research and in collecting data independently and 2) You have experience with LCA software such as openLCA, Gabi, SimaPro, etc. and LCA databases (e.g. ecoinvent).


How to apply

Please send an email, no later than February 14th 2022, to:

- Prof. Dr. ir. Jo Dewulf (

The subject of the email should contain the following title: 'Application PhD CTO + family name’.

The following documents must be attached: letter of motivation, CV, a copy of the highest degree and a summary of the results of the studies.

Students graduating in January/February or June 2022 are also welcome to apply.

Selection procedure:

- Preselection based on the provided documents

- Selection based on interviews

Planned starting date doctoral position: March 1st, 2022 (the earliest).

You will be recruited on the basis of competencies. Qualities of people are decisive, regardless of gender, religion, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or any disability.

For more information about the content of this position and the CTO project, please contact

Read more / apply
  • Application deadline: Feb 15, 2022
  • Ghent University
  • Research Group Sustainable Systems Engineering (STEN), Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
  • Ghent, Belgium
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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