PhD scholarship in Sustainability Assessment of Residual Biomass Resource Management

DTU Environment
Monday 06 Nov 17

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The Department of Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Environment) advertises a fully funded 3-year PhD position.

The PhD Student will be placed in the Residual Resource Engineering Section, which focuses on sustainable management of waste materials and residual biomass from the municipal, industrial and agricultural sectors. This involves characterization of waste and biomass materials, technologies to recover material, nutrients and energy resources, management of reject fractions, optimization of microbial conversion processes (e.g. biofuels, bio-products and biogas), measurement and control of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as environmental and economic sustainability assessments within this field.

Residual biomass resources may be utilised for a variety of purposes in society, e.g. heat and power, biofuels, biomaterials, biochemicals, animal feed and food products. An increasing demand for bioresources, in particular in the energy and transport sectors, may result in increasing competition for bioresources among the various utilisation options.

While the bioresources are technically suited for a wide range of conversion pathways and utilisation routes, this may not mean that society necessarily harvests the most environmental and economic benefits from available bioresources. There is a need for consistent and material-specific assessment of the management of residual biomass resources at the societal level.

The PhD Student will contribute to research within environmental and economic sustainability assessment of residual bioresource management. The research will involve development and application of life cycle assessment and life cycle costing models within the context of our EASETECH model.

Focus will be on the integration of technologies in a system context for identification of optimal processing and management routes of residual bioresources, and on the importance of boundary conditions, temporal changes, and resource characteristics.

Responsibilities and tasks
The successful candidate should have documented prior and hands-on experiences with life cycle assessment (LCA) modelling of waste and residual biomass systems. State-of-the-art LCA modelling approaches will be applied as part of the PhD. Existing models and methodologies will be further developed. The activities will involve data collection and treatment, model definition, scenario modelling and evaluation of results. The research will be carried out in collaboration with other researchers within the section and department, as well as with external partners. The activities will be related to and coordinated with ongoing research activities within externally funded projects. The PhD includes both research activities, teaching and dissemination activities as well as further education of the PhD candidate.

The PhD candidate will be part of a team working with the EASETECH model.

Candidates should have a Master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the Master's degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Thomas Fruergaard Astrup, tel.: +45 4525 1558.

You can read more about DTU Environment at

Please submit your online application no later than 20 November 2017.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their Master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Environment conducts research and development, and provides educational programs and service to society in the area of engineering of water in natural, urban and industrial contexts, processing and recovery of residual resources, environmental risk assessment and chemical risk reduction. The aim is to develop new environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies, and to disseminate this knowledge to society and a new generation of engineers. The Department has approximately 185 staff from more than 30 countries.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.