Research Associate

Research Associate – Life Cycle / Supply Chain Analyses

The Bureau of Economic Geology is recruiting for a Research Associate to contribute to an in-depth study on multidimensional life-cycle analyses of global supply chains of key electricity generating options.

Research and Job Description

This data-driven research will assess local and global environmental impacts associated with extracting mineral resources, processing ores, manufacturing equipment, constructing, and operating and decommissioning different types of power plants (e.g., combined-cycle gas turbine, wind, solar, batteries, etc.). Environmental impacts include emissions, land pollution and use, water pollution and use, and ecosystem services.

The finalist will be part of a multi-disciplinary, integrated research team. The finalist will conduct cradle-to-grave, life-cycle assessments using ISO standardized approaches (e.g., OpenLCA and Ecoinvent); analyze results against different technology enhancements and resource discoveries in different locations across the world; uncover critical metrics and crossover points for different energy mix scenarios; and consider cost, efficiency, reliability, and earth impact (air, land, and water) in different geographic locations.

Job Responsibilities

  • Perform original and independent research on modeling potential environmental impacts of electricity generation facilities, starting in west Texas, with the ability to model different energy mix scenarios that balance cost, reliability, and environmental impact.
  • Conduct life-cycle analyses using ISO standardized approaches, but with a focus on developing new and efficient analytical techniques.
  • Conduct sensitivity analyses on the impact of future technology roadmaps, adjusting supply chain mapping accordingly.
  • Participate and assist in fund raising activities, including proposal development and presentations to prospective sponsors.
  • Present research results to funding agencies, report results of research in journal articles and books, and present results at professional meetings.


Required: Ph.D. in mining, environmental engineering, economic geology, or closely related field with demonstrated experience in LCA and supply chain analyses, and at least 3 years experience. Ability and desire to work in diverse, multi-disciplinary, integrated research teams. Record of publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, research performance, and professional achievement commensurate with experience. Professional demeanor and excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills.

Preferred: More than the minimum level of experience, including record of successful leadership in a research environment in industry or academia. Hands-on experience with systems dynamics modeling, sensitivity modeling and systems optimization for various generation scenarios. Experience in mining industry, solar industry, wind, and/or battery industry analysis. International teaming experience. Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and deliverables.

Contacts and Information on Applying

Gurcan Gulen:         Michael Young:

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  • Application deadline: Oct 30, 2022
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Bureau of Economic Geology
  • Austin, Texas, US
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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