PhD scholarship in Market Based Measures for Sustainable Shipping

Tuesday 28 May 19

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Apply no later than 19 June 2019
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In the quest to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, Market Based Measures (MBMs) are instruments that apply the so-called “polluter pays” principle and internalize the external costs of these emissions. By doing so they induce ship owners to adopt measures that reduce these emissions. A levy on bunker fuel or an Emissions Trading System (ETS), also known as cap-and-trade, are MBMs, even though other types of MBMs have also been proposed.

The objective of this PhD project is to develop an MBM scheme by which GHG emissions from international shipping can be reduced by at least 50% by 2050 as compared with 2008 levels. This target is what the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has decided in April 2018 (among others), in the context of what is known as 
“Initial IMO Strategy to reduce GHG emissions from ships”. GHGs mainly include carbon dioxide (CO2), but also methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and others.

The research will be carried out within the Management Science division of DTU Management: Management Science is an interdisciplinary science for quantitative decision support. It supports decision making by building mathematical models of the studied system such that decisions can be studied quantitatively through a number of mathematical tools (e.g. linear- and integer-programming, heuristics and simulation).  The division for Management Science conducts research in Operations Research, Operations Management, Financial Engineering and Implementation and Performance Management using related quantitative techniques.

Responsibilities and tasks
In this PhD project you will have a unique opportunity to contribute to shaping future policy towards a major ambition: drastically reduce GHG emissions from international shipping. To do so, your tasks as a PhD student will include: 

  • Preliminary MBM formulation: After an updated literature survey of MBM approaches, you will define criteria for the comparative assessment of the MBMs to be investigated. Criteria could include environmental effectiveness, cost effectiveness, potential impact on trade, practical feasibility, administrative burden, avoidance of split incentives between ship owner and charterer, compatibility with existing legal framework, and others. 
  • Investigation of short-term MBM impacts: You will investigate the short-term (logistics-based) possible impacts induced by the MBMs under study. These mainly include speed optimization, one of the short-term candidate measures within the Initial IMO Strategy (to be agreed from 2018 to 2023). Speed optimization is to be contrasted to speed reduction which generally implies a speed limit, which is advocated by certain NGOs, and would likely be not a  good idea as it might create significant distortions. Your work will include a comparison of COemissions reductions due to an MBM to those due to a speed limit for a variety of scenarios and under the criteria established previously. 
  • Investigation of long-term MBM impacts: Here you will investigate the long-term (technological) impacts induced by the MBMs under study. These include more efficient engines, optimized hulls, alternative fuels, energy savings devices, waste heat recovery, sails, air bubbles, and a range of other technologies. An inventory of such technological measures will first be developed, in collaboration with marine technology providers, fuel suppliers and shipping companies. 
  • In addition, as a PhD student you will (a) contribute to dissemination of results in scientific papers and conferences, (b) actively interact with shipping companies and other maritime stakeholders, and (c) assist to teaching relevant material in DTU related courses, such as 42892, Shipping and Port Logistics.
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. A master’s degree in areas such as naval architecture and marine engineering, maritime engineering, maritime economics, maritime logistics, management science, or equivalent, is required. Knowledge of the maritime sector and/or maritime emissions is a plus.

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

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.

You can read more about 
career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from PhD thesis supervisor Professor Harilaos N. Psaraftis,, tel.: +45 4525 1519.

You can read more about DTU Management at

Please submit your online application no later than 19 June 2019 (23.59 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)
  • A brief (up to 2 pages) research statement
  • One reference letter.
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU Management - Department of Technology, Management and Economics has around 340 employees. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and 38 different nationalities are represented across the department.

DTU Management conducts high-level research and teaching with a focus on sustainability, transport, innovation, and management science. Our goal is to create knowledge on the societal aspects of technology - including the interaction between technology on the one hand and sustainability and economic growth on the other. The department offers teaching from introductory to advances courses/projects and BSc, MSc and PhD level.
Please read more here.   

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 university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.