Postdoc Position Modelling Complexity in Design for Sustainability and Circular Economy

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral associate position in social sciences to join Delft University of Technology. This position is open until filled.

Department/faculty: Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

Level: Doctorate Working hours: 32-40 hours weekly Contract: The job will start with a one-year contract, and if the first year ends with a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the second year. Salary: 3044 – 4166 euros monthly (full-time basis) The faculty of Industrial Design Engineering is the largest and broadest scientific design institute in the world, with over 2,000 students, more than 6,000 alumni and 300 staff (researchers and lecturers, including designers from industrial practice). The faculty aims to contribute to a better living environment and respond to social challenges by combining human values and desires with technological feasibility and economic viability. We are excellently placed to do so, as we ground design methods and skills in scientific knowledge from a wide range of disciplines, leading to concrete solutions.

The candidate will be involved in the scientific research and network of the Design for Sustainability group in the Department of Design Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft. The DfS group pursues ground breaking research in circular and sustainable products, systems and services. We are a rapidly expanding group, with 2 full professors, 1 part-time professor, 4 associate and assistant professors, a postdoc and 16 PhD researchers. We have an excellent track record in obtaining internationally funded projects, a lively 'circular design lab' where graduate students collaborate with partners from our industry network, and a well-equipped applied lab where we build prototypes and experiment with emerging materials and technologies.

We are looking for a talented PhD graduate to develop simulation and forecasting tools to inform design interventions towards sustainability. Some of the most prominent challenges of designing for sustainability and circular economy are due to the complexity of social, ecological and technological systems, and are only partially addressed by current design methods. This research will break new ground by drawing from complex systems modelling approaches, such as network theory, agent-based models or system dynamics, which were developed in various areas of science (e.g. ecology, social science or applied maths). The aim will be to create practical simulation and forecasting tools that can be readily adopted by designers to identify and prioritise interventions for sustainability and circular economy.

The research will be executed in close collaboration with academic and industrial stakeholders, and with students in our education programs. The postdoc will be in charge of developing and testing the tools, as well as disseminating and building community (e.g., through workshops, conference panels, and experiments). The postdoc will strengthen the scientific program of the group in this area and publish in relevant communities. While the position is research centered, it also allows for building a track record in education in a renowned, innovative Industrial Design education program. The research is supervised by Dr Ella Jamsin from the DfS group.

The ideal candidate is proactive, highly motivated, and independent, and has proven experience with building computational models of complex systems (for example, but not limited to, agent-based model, system dynamics or network model).

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Ella Jamsin, Dr., email:, tel: +31 (0)15 27 83034.

Applications should be sent by email to secr-de-io@tudelft.


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