Postdoctoral Position in Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment

The Life Cycle Group ‘CyVi’ at the Institute of Molecular Sciences, University of Bordeaux (Science and Technology), has an inter- and transdisciplinary orientation and is specialized in life cycle approaches for chemical substances and products. Key issues thereby are the application of sustainability assessment in the areas of chemical synthesis and material science, and the enhancement of related methodologies and data. The research field and the course offer include integrated resource management (e.g., energy, materials, water), and sustainable value chains, including recycling systems. The methodological competences range from life cycle assessment (LCA) and risk assessment to material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle management in the abovementioned research fields. Currently, the group consists of a full professor, an assistant professor,
a post-doctoral researcher and ten PhD students, some of them in co-direction with other researchers. See and for more information

The post-doctoral fellow will work in an international team within KIC EIT RawMaterials funded projects in cooperation with the University of Leiden (CML), ENEA and Atlantic Copper.  Salary is of around 2000€ depending on the experience; mobility costs are provided.

Work assignments
• Participate in a project to retrieve data sets and create concordances on material stocks and flows within efforts to build a comprehensive material stock and flow database in Europe to support decision making on materials by industry and governments in the EU. This implies identifying gaps in existing MFA databases and surveying current state-of-the-art databases to detect relevant parts available to fill these gaps. Such databases include the following: COMTRADE, USGS, waste management and recycling data from various sources, Metal study group, National and Global Input-Output tables (e.g. EXIOBASE) and in particular LCA databases (ecoinvent, ELCD, GaBi, NEEDS, ProBas etc.). 

• Contribute to estimating the materials composition and lifetimes of multiple products. Much of available data mentioned above is in the form of trade statistics of products. In order to transform these into material stocks and flows, it is necessary to estimate the material composition of said products. In addition, an estimation of product lifetimes is necessary to
estimate quantities of discarded products, i.e. secondary raw materials, using available time delay models. This task will have to be delivered based on available literature and an additional survey to assess both composition and lifetimes.
• Do life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) studies for metallurgical and composite recycling processes. It is expected that these assessments go beyond the quantification of environmental impacts to include geopolitical risk and embodied energy evaluations, life cycle costing and societal LCA to study also job creation and potentially other social impacts. The group is actively involved in advancing methods for integrated LCSA. Hence, possibilities exist to contribute actively to these efforts. 
• Develop and update training material on material flow analysis and life cycle sustainability assessment, in particular with case studies for metallurgical and composite recycling processes, and train professionals as well as AMIR Master students using the material developed.
• Carry out own research activities as a continuation of a previous job and support the ongoing research & innovation projects and events at the hosting group on topics including also material flow analysis. Opportunities are provided to develop a research carrier in line with the group’s priorities. The development of adequate project proposals is encouraged.

• PhD in material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, environmental systems sciences, metallurgy, material sciences, chemistry, environmental, chemical or process engineering or any other appropriate discipline
• Experience in modelling materials, energy and water flows
• Excellent knowledge in integrated resource management, sustainable value chains, including recycling systems
• Interest in interdisciplinary research and education
• Willingness to contribute to the organization of project meetings and other types of events
• Pleasure to get involved in the development of the research & innovation group on life cycle approaches for chemical products and materials with the possibility to contribute to the supervision of PhD and Master students
• Excellent English (French knowledge is of advantage)

Deadline for application: 1 March 2019
Starting date: 1 April 2019 at the earliest or upon agreement
Length of employment: until 31 December 2021, renewable every year until 31 December 2021
Interested and highly motivated applicants should provide their application files (Motivation letter,
CV, publication list and up to 3 potential referees with address, phone number and email), if
possible, in electronic form in one pdf file until 1 March 2019 to:
Prof. Guido SONNEMANN (
For questions please contact also Prof. Guido SONNEMANN.

Contact Details
Prof. Guido SONNEMANN, PhD
Head, The Life Cycle Group CyVi, Institute of Molecular Sciences
University of Bordeaux, 351 cours de la Libération, 33405 TALENCE Cedex, France

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