PhD Researcher Sustainability Assessment of Alkali Activated Materials Structures in The Context of A Circular Economy

ETH Zurich, Switzerland is offering PhD position in earth sciences. The initial contract for this position is three years. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

The Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich intends to ground sustainability in the disciplines of the built environment. We want to foster international collaboration among the different stakeholders involved in architecture, engineering and construction and to promote appropriate application of sustainable construction materials during the entire life cycle of buildings and infrastructure. We seek to start on October 1, 2019 or by agreement, a PhD researcher "Sustainability Assessment of Alkali activated Materials Structures in the Context of a circular Economy"

The PhD position is funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network "DuRSAAM - European Training Network on Durable, Reliable and Sustainable Structures with Alkali-Activated Materials" within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. DuRSAAM is a consortium of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in 9 different European countries and led by University of Gent. The current PhD position will focus on the sustainability assessment of Alkali activated materials (AAM) and in particular how the use of life cycle assessment complements the concept of circular economy. The green profile of AAM structures is one of the main key-selling-points of the new material, hence, a thorough assessment of the environmental performance of AAM structures compared to traditional OPC-based concrete in comparable structures will be documented. The PhD work will focus on a detailed life-cycle environmental analysis of the different AAM mixtures and of their practical applications, to define the direct and indirect impacts of the technology and to identify the main environmental hotspots and improvement opportunities throughout their production chain. Both material and structural considerations, in production, service and recycling, will be incorporated into the LCA approach and circular economic model adopted, to ensure that a holistic view is provided.

We welcome highly motivated applicants holding a MSc in chemical, civil or environmental Engineering, materials or earth sciences, environmental economics, ecology or similar disciplines. The ideal candidate has a strong interest in construction, sustainability and circular economy. The candidate knows durability of building materials and Life Cycle Assessment, and life cycle cost assessment and circular economy. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement.

We offer working in an exciting project carried out in a small research group at ETH Zurich equipped with excellent computational and lab facilities. Supervision will be close, but allows for independent work. The successful candidate will be working in co-supervision between Prof Guillaume Habert at ETH Zurich who provides LCA expertise, Prof. Stijn Matthis at Gent University who brings AAM durability expertise and Dr. Brigitte Holt Andersen from the Institute of applied economics in Denmark who has a business and Life Cycle Costing expertise. Short visiting stays will be organised in Gent and Copenhagen during the PhD. Scientific writing and active participation in international scientific conferences is very much supported. English and German are the working languages of the institute. The duration of the project is three years.


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