PhD scholarship within High-throughput Chemical Data Analysis and Life Cycle Impact Assessment

DTU Management Engineering
mandag 29 okt 18

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Frist 15. november 2018
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DTU Management Engineering’s Division for Quantitative Sustainability Assessment (QSA) covers research and development of scientifically based engineering methods for decision support for environmental and social sustainability. The research is thus positioned at the interface between natural sciences and engineering-based decision-support. A particular focus area is research and development of methods for quantifying the environmental impacts associated with anthropogenic activities and their use of technologies, products, and services.

The field of research is within high-throughput chemical data analysis and life cycle impact assessment.

You will contribute to research within the emerging field high-throughput exposure and computational toxicity characterization in which chemicals emitted along product or service life cycles are evaluated in terms of potential multi-pathway exposure and human and ecosystem effects, and how hazardous chemicals can be substituted by more sustainable alternatives.

Responsibilities and tasks
You will contribute to advancing the field of high-throughput exposure and computational toxicity characterization using advanced methods and tools for supervised machine learning, automated data curation trees, and mathematical modelling.

Using state-of-the-art concepts of semi-automated and automated data processing and curation, as well as high-throughput methods for exposure and toxicity modelling, your research will cover central aspects of chemical environmental fate, human and ecological exposure and related effects on human and ecosystem health and combine these aspects with advanced high-throughput computational methods and statistics.

The main goal is to develop a framework to consistently quantify exposure to and toxicity effects of chemicals based on high-quality data and efficient mathematical models for application in life cycle impact assessment, chemical substitution and related decision support.

Key activities: 

  • Developing methods and algorithms for automated curation of chemical (physicochemical properties) and product exposure (functional application and use) related data
  • Developing models for assessing high-throughput multi-pathway exposure to chemicals in certain product applications with initial focus on chemicals in plastics
  • Developing case studies on toy and other plastic-based products containing volatile and semi-volatile chemicals that might migrate into the human skin upon direct contact or into indoor air via volatilization
  • Developing operational tools for incorporating human exposure methods and curated high-throughput data related to the use of selected consumer products in life cycle impact assessment and chemical substitution
  • Establishing a list of priority chemical-product combinations by developing quantitative chemical substitution approaches in line with current European chemicals management priorities 

You will also assist in one or more of our university courses, and you will likely co-supervise bachelor and/or master thesis projects.

You will become part of an energetic and dynamic research environment.

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

Required skills: 

  • Automated data collection, curation, and quantitative analysis
  • Development/adaptation of multimedia mass balance models
  • Data analysis in the European Chemicals Agency’s IUCLID technical platform
Special expertise in curating and analysing ecotoxicological effect data and applying and modifying the global scientific consensus model USEtox ( for human toxicity and ecotoxicity characterization in life cycle impact assessment, advanced skills in Excel macro programming, Matlab, Origin, and R for automated data analysis and visualisation, and skills in supervised machine learning algorithms are a clear advantage. A high motivation for analytical research, excellent communication skills in English are essential for a successful application.

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 at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Peter Fantke according to the qualification requirements above-stated.

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 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 upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Workplace: DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
For further information please contact Associate Professor Peter Fantke, +45 4525 4452.

Information about the Division for Quantitative Sustainability Assessment (QSA) at the Department of Management Engineering is available at   

Please submit your online application no later than 15 November 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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)
  • Research Statement (clearly relating existing expertise to proposed PhD project tasks)
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 Management Engineering contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimization of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models and methods. Through our research and teaching, we ensure an innovative, competitive and sustainable organization and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production, and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 340 employees; including an academic staff of 190 and 68 PhD students. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and a total of 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 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.