PhD Position - Hybrid life cycle assessment of biosolids processing technologies

PhD Position - Hybrid life cycle assessment of biosolids processing technologies

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

UNSW Water Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

Wastewater treatment processes remove contaminants, reduce water pollution and manage biosolids, but while doing so they also contribute to direct and indirect environmental impacts. Bottom-up methodologies are widely applied in wastewater studies to quantify its environmental impacts, but due to its need to define a system boundary, some upstream impacts are not considered, and the different assumptions and methods used render the results incomparable across studies. To account for broader economy-wide life cycle impacts, this PhD project aims to develop a hybrid life cycle assessment model that combines bottom-up process data and top-down input-output data to represent the biosolids processing technologies utilised across Australia to evaluate the impacts of biosolids treatment options in multiple dimensions. The PhD researcher will make use of the Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory within the UNSW Sustainability Assessment Program for hybrid life cycle assessments and environmental footprint analysis.

The UNSW Water Research Centre (WRC) is a university research centre of the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering and provides a focal point for multidisciplinary research in water resources, engineering, management, and the development of tools for environmental management, life cycle and risk assessment for improving the aquatic and atmospheric environments. The Sustainability Assessment Program aims to support industry and governments in improving their decision making with an integrated assessment that combines economic, environmental, and social dimensions.

The ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource  aims to bring together Australia’s leading biosolid researchers and key industry and government stakeholders to advance the management, transformation, and reuse of biosolids in agriculture.

The successful candidate will join WRC and the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ITTC) program. The candidate should have background in either civil, chemical or environmental engineering, have the ability to conduct independent research with limited supervision, have excellent written and communication skills and will be expected to interact regularly with industry partners. Knowledge of sustainability assessment methods (e.g. life cycle assessment, input-output analysis and
hybrid life cycle assessments) is not required but is beneficial for this position. The student needs to be successful in securing their own primary scholarship via a Research Training Program (RTP) – Domestic or University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA) or equivalent. A secondary Top Up scholarship ($5000) may be available to exceptional applicants.

Applications should be submitted to Dr Soo Huey Teh (email: with the subject heading “ITTC PhD 3B - Project 3”, along with a cover letter, academic transcript, and CV. Please submit your application by 30 April 2022 to the email address above. 


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  • Application deadline: Apr 30, 2022
  • University of New South Wales
  • School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Sydney, Australia
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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