PhD scholarships in Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Bio-based Food Packaging Materials

DTU Management Engineering
mandag 15 maj 17

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Frist 30. maj 2017
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A PhD student position (3 years) is available at the Department for Management Engineering’s division for Quantitative Sustainability Assessment.

Department for Management Engineering’s division for Quantitative Sustainability Assessment covers research and development of scientifically based engineering methods and tools for decision support for environmental and social sustainability. Methodological research and tool development aim at quantitative sustainability assessment of technologies, products and systems.

The PhD project is a part of an EU H2020 project called Biobarr (New bio-based food packaging materials with enhanced barrier properties). The project intends to develop new bio-based and biodegradable food packaging materials and aims to create a new biobased value chain, taking into account needs of actors operating in each value chain step: bioplastic producer, extrusion and filming actors, converter, inks producers, and food industries end-users.

Responsibilities and tasks
The successful candidate will develop improved indicators for climate change impact accounting to be applied in life cycle assessment of the new bio-based food packaging materials. The new indicator should address changes in surface albedo and existence of climate tipping points. The candidate will employ state-of-the-art life cycle impact assessment methods, including methods based on planetary boundaries, to assess environmental sustainability bioplastic and identify processes in the underlying life cycle with largest potential for optimization. The candidate will determine whether the developed technology is an environmentally sound option in the packaging sector relative to established alternatives.

The applicants should be highly motivated and hold a master’s degree preferably within Agricultural Science/Engineering, Environmental Science/Engineering or related areas. Good command of product system modelling software, modelling software in general as well as written and spoken English are required.

Further qualifications 

  • Candidates must have documented knowledge in at least two of the following six fields: life cycle assessment, sustainability assessment, inventory analysis/modelling, urban/territorial metabolism, dynamic environmental assessment and/or environmental assessment of agricultural (sub-)systems.
  • Excellent early achievement track-record (publications, awards, conference presentations, etc.).
  • Strong work ethics and motivation to succeed within a competitive research field.
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates 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.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by senior researcher Mikolaj Owsianiak and the relevant PhD school at DTU Management Engineering according to the qualification requirements stated above.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.   

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.   

The workplace will be at DTU Lyngby Campus.

Further information
For further information please contact senior researcher Mikolaj Owsianiak,, Tel: +45 4525 4805.

Information about the division for Quantitative Sustainability Assessment (QSA) is available at   

Please submit your online application no later than 30 May 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 Management Engineering contributes to research and development of management engineering tools and optimisation 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 use and management of existing and emerging technologies.

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 10,600 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.