VACANCY postdoc (environmental) life cycle sustainability analysis
Job profile: postdoctoral researcher
Department: Green chemistry and technology
Occupancy rate: 100%
Type contract: limited duration
Closing date: 14/02/2022
Diploma: PhD in environmental/chemical engineering, bioscience engineering or similar
We welcome applications for a full-time postdoctoral researcher within the Research Group Sustainable Systems Engineering (STEN) of the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, UGent. The postdoctoral researcher will be involved in one or more European and/or nationally funded projects, depending on which subject one is interested in. Overall, the applicant's required skills should cover (environmental) life cycle sustainability analysis.
The duration of the contract is at least 1 year, but prolongation is possible after a positive evaluation. Based on the researcher's interest, he or she may also support other ongoing (or future) research projects within STEN.
The postdoctoral researcher should indicate which of the following projects/themes he or she is interested in and should convince us that he/she has in-depth knowledge and expertise in relation to the priority projects.
Project 1: TRANSENSUS (Towards a European-wide harmonised transport-specific LCA Approach)
TranSensus LCA is an EU HORIZON project, coordinated by Fraunhofer-Gesellschafts in Germany, and aims to pave the way towards a commonly accepted and applied single LCA approach for zero-emission road transport. The battery value chain, the full vehicle (passenger and commercial vehicles, for the latter including fuel cells technologies) as well as relevant mobility scenarios over the full life cycle (i.e., cradle to cradle) will be considered. Our role involves, among others, creating common ontology and management approach for an LCI database of road transport and orating a common Life Cycle Assessment approach integrating environmental and social aspects for the transport sector (as partner in WP2). Also, developing guidelines intended to support LCA practitioners and users for conducting LCA of the electromobility value chain (as partner in WP5).
Project 2: ORIENTING (Operational Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment Methodology Supporting Decisions Towards a Circular Economy)
ORIENTING is an EU HORIZON project, coordinated by Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation in Spain, and aims to develop a holistic Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) methodology that overcomes the key deficiencies of existing schemes to assess complex production-consumption systems, including product circularity. The methodology is supported by selected methods and tools that enable successful application of the LCSA in practice and facilitate the communication of sustainability information. ORIENTING contributes towards the development of a future Product Sustainability Footprint (PSF) at European level and provides guidance for development of Product Sustainability Footprint Category Rules (PSFCR) that should enable fit-for-purpose, yet comparable and verifiable, reporting of the sustainability performance of products. Our role is to support in all WPs.
Project 3: RESILEX (Resilient Enhancement for the Silicon Industry Leveraging the European matriX)
RESILEX is an EU HORIZON project, coordinated by Iberian Sustainable Mining Cluster in Spain, and aims to demonstrate seven industry-driven technological and business innovative solutions covering the full Silicon value chain in order to contribute to improving the resilience and sustainability of this critical raw material value chain in Europe. The economic, social and environmental impact of these solutions will be assessed. The goal is to identify, roadmap, and provide open source policy-making recommendations to accelerate the replication of the ones with the highest potential, while also addressing transversal challenges from the European mining industry as a whole with a 8th pilot transversal demonstration. Our role is to contribute to all work packages, but especially WP7 dealing with multi-faceted impact assessment & EU policy recommendations. WP1 is already finalised, which we coordinated, however, there are still many other tasks related to WP2-WP7 that still needs to be taken care off.
Project 4: CIRCULAR FOODPACK (Circular Packaging for Direct Food Contact Applications)
CIRCULAR FOODPACK is an EU HORIZON 2020 project, coordinated by Fraunhofer-Gesellschafts in Germany, and aims to facilitate the circular use of plastic food packaging. This sector contains 87% of all European flexible plastic-plastic multilayer composites (MLC) due to the high requirements for food preservation and safety. However, these MLC laminates cannot be recycled by state of the art processes and thus counteract the circular use of food packaging. We will demonstrate the project results by production of high-quality recycled PE at TRL 5-6, using Sensor-Based-Specification or Tracer-Based-Sorting (TBS, SBS), deinking and thermally assisted deodorization as well as solvent-based or mechanical recycling processes. Innovative designs of recyclable and food-safe mono-material laminates will enable the re-use in high-value film applications, with upcoming food packaging marking with deinkable tracers. This allows a future circular economy of food packaging, if TBS guarantees a sorting of food grade materials. Product characterization, food contact compliance testing, LCA, LCC and business modelling will support and guide process development, upscale and design new packaging. Our role is mainly as leader of WP7, where new value chains and their products will be compared to baseline treatment scenarios (open loop recycling or incineration) and reference packaging. A tailor-made Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) framework for CIRCULAR FoodPack will be developed.
Your role will exist out of (1) scientific elaboration in one or more research projects (related to the topics aforementioned and based on your personal interest/expertise), and (2) organisational/managerial support (depending on the chosen projects) in a team setting with postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.
Given the multidisciplinary character of the research, collaboration and exchange within the STEN group and with other partners in the projects will be key. The scientific findings should lead to publications in international peer reviewed journals and should be presented at international conferences.
The start date is planned as March 1st 2022 the earliest.
Candidates are expected to have an engineering background and/or affinity with sustainability analysis methods such as life cycle assessment. We are looking for candidates with a critical and analytical attitude and who have a sense of initiative.
Other profile requirements:
- You have expertise in one of more themes as mentioned above;
- You hold a PhD in an environmental/chemical/bioscience engineering related field, or similar;
- You have an interest in scientific research;
- You can operate both independently and in a multidisciplinary team;
- You have organisational/managerial skills and are highly motivated;
- You have good writing and presentation skills;
- You master the English language, written and orally, in an academic context;
- Having experience with quantitative and/or qualitative research is essential;
- 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. Jo Dewulf (Jo.Dewulf@UGent.be)
The subject of the email should contain the following title: 'Application postdoc + project name(s) + Family name’.
The following documents must be attached: letter of motivation, CV, a copy of the highest degree, a summary of the results of the studies and contact details of 1 or 2 reference persons.
- 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, please contact Jo.Dewulf@UGent.be