DTU PhD scholarship: Innovative Strategies for Managing Corporate Growth within the Planetary Boundaries

DTU Construct

The PhD position is part of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU’s) current activities in establishing the foundation for the newly opened Centre for Absolute Sustainability. A common methodological platform for technology research is under development, to which this PhD position will provide important contributions with particular focus on strategic sustainability implementation, joining efforts with the other ongoing PhD projects under the same umbrella.

The Science-Based Targets Initiatives (SBTi) recently emerged as one of most promising approaches for strategic sustainability management at the corporate level. It supports companies to set carbon reduction goals across their entire value chains, on the basis of absolute sustainability within the planetary boundaries. Nevertheless, in addition to increasingly committing to ambitious carbon reduction goals, companies are also striving for significant business growth which poses a major paradox.   

The position aims to develop strategic and innovative approaches to support companies in achieving their ambitious growth targets at the same time as reducing their absolute carbon footprint (i.e. to decouple growth from carbon footprint). The project will investigate the decoupling potential by means of alternative innovative strategies, such as circular business models, value chain strategies, business strategies, circular economy strategies, product/service-systems, etc.

The PhD position is offered as part of a collaboration between three DTU departments: DTU Construct, DTU Entrepreneurship and DTU Sustain, with main supervision in DTU Construct.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The applicant should be highly motivated and hold a Master’s degree, preferably within the areas of mechanical engineering, management engineering, environmental engineering or similar, and should have sound experience in the area of sustainability. Experience with industrial manufacturing companies would also be desirable.

Good command of written and spoken English is a requirement.

You must 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.

Further qualifications

  • Candidate must have knowledge in at least two of the following six fields: sustainable design, life cycle assessment, circular economy, decision-making processes, and sustainability policy.
  • Excellent early achievement track record (awards, publications, conference presentations, etc.).
  • Strong work ethic and motivation to succeed within a competitive research field.
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills.

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 DTU's rules for the PhD education.  

The assessment of the applicants will be led by Professor Tim C. McAloone (DTU Construct) and Associate Professor Thomas J. Howard (DTU Entrepreneurship) in collaboration with the other professors connected to the Centre and the relevant PhD school at DTU.

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 Professor Tim C. McAloone (tmca@dtu.dk) or Associate Professor Thomas J. Howard (thow@dtu.dk).

You can read more about the Centre for Absolute Sustainability at www.sustainability.dtu.dk and the departments of the two main supervisors at www.construct.dtu.dk and www.entrepreneurship.dtu.dk.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 30 August 2022 (Danish 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale
  • A scientifically written research proposal (incl. state-of-the-art, research gaps, objectives and envisaged research activities, including references) of maximum two pages, relating to the particular position

We expect the successful PhD candidate to begin the projects in late 2022.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications 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 Civil and Mechanical Engineering (DTU Construct) develops and utilises science and technical knowledge for the benefit of society and the sustainable development. We undertake research, education, innovation, and scientific advice of the highest quality within building design and processes, building construction and safety, building energy and installation, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, materials technology, manufacturing engineering, engineering design and thermal energy systems.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.