PhD position: Applying regionalized life cycle assessment for transformative change analysis

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering.

The aim of this position is to work across two upcoming Horizon Europe projects (BAMBOO and RAINFOREST) and one ERC starting grant project (ATLANTIS; ).

RAINFOREST (expected start in December 2022) is a project with partners in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Peru, and Brazil. The project aims to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss caused by our global good and biomass production systems. This requires upscaling and accelerating transformative change of these systems, including addressing the nexus of agricultural production, processing and transport, retailing, consumer preferences and diets, as well as investment, climate action and ecosystem conservation and restoration. 

BAMBOO (start in September 2022) is a project with partners in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Peru and Tanzania. The project aims to improve the tools to assess the impacts of international trade of non-food biomass on biodiversity, to help policymakers, retailers and other stakeholders to assess and mitigate their impacts. Models to quantify biodiversity impacts using four indicators will be developed: species richness, mean species abundance, functional diversity and ecosystem services and we will use a combination of existing models and newly developed ones. To improve the representation of trade, we will create a new, hybrid multiregional input-output (MRIO) model based on the well-known EXIOBASE and the biomass-specific FABIO models.

ATLANTIS is an ERC starting grant project focusing on quantifying impacts on marine species richness and ecosystem services from impacts of plastic pollution and marine invasive species.
The focus of this crosscutting PhD is the refinement, completion and application of the LC-IMPACT  method across and beyond the three projects. Impact categories dealing with impacts on human health shall be updated and implemented and necessary adaptations and extensions to categories dealing with ecosystem quality and resources shall be carried out.

Together with the project team, the PhD will identify synergies between the projects and work on the integration of the LC-IMPACT methodology in open-source LCA (Brightway) and MRIO (Pymrio) analysis software.

Finally, the updated and coupled LC-IMPACT will be applied to cases studies of transformative change, such as the production of non-food biomass like cotton or the impact of plant-based or plastic –based packaging options. There the full benefit of the multiple perspectives provided LC-IMPACT (human health, ecosystem quality as well as resource impacts) shall be explored. The project includes potential collaboration with the project partners involved in the three projects.

IndEcol is a pioneer in the development and application of industrial ecology methods, as well as the use of large data sets and scientific computing in industrial ecology. We focus on understanding resource use and environmental pollution associated with human activities, assessing the environmental aspects of different technologies and modeling society’s use of materials. IndEcol combines world-class competence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Input-Output analysis (I/O), and Material Flow Analysis (MFA) with scientists’ contribution to IPCC assessment reports, the International Resource Panel, active participation to the UNEP/SETAC Life-Cycle Initiative, and numerous publications featured in high-ranked journals. IndEcol hosts its own International MSc program and contributes to NTNU’s engineering education- The research team consisting of eight faculty members, the Industrial Ecology Digital Laboratory, and about 70 researchers, and PhDs.

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås. The position’s supervisor is Professor Francesca Verones, the co-supervisors are Dr. Martin Dorber and Dr. Konstantin Stadler.

The appointment has a duration of three years with an anticipated start date in December 2022. The appointment is financed through NTNU. 

Read more / apply
  • Application deadline: Aug 28, 2022
  • NTNU
  • Industrial Ecology Programme
  • Trondheim, Norway
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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