PhD scholarship in Methodology Development for Assessing Environmental Sustainability of Cities in an Absolute Perspective

Sunday 08 Sep 19

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The Quantitative Sustainability Assessment (QSA) group in the Sustainability Division of DTU department of Technology, Management and Economics (DTU Management) covers research and development of scientifically based engineering methods and tools for decision support for environmental and social sustainability. We invite applications for a 3-year PhD scholarship in the field of Environmental Sustainability Assessment with particular focus on sustainable cities.

Research field
The project is positioned within environmental sustainability assessment coupled with the architectural and civil engineering. Relying on the concept of urban metabolism, life cycle thinking and circular economy, this PhD project will develop a science-based and operational methodology for assessing the environmental sustainability of cities, with specific focus on the role of the built environment.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project aims to develop a comprehensive and robust methodology for environmental assessment of cities in an absolute perspective. The application of this methodology will contribute to help cities transition to metabolic systems that can be environmentally-sustainable in absolute terms. The PhD will explore the options for existing cities to be absolute sustainable and formulate strategies to apply when planning and designing future city developments.

Key activities include (a) Development of dynamic models for expressing cities’ urban metabolism, including analysis of material, energy and waste flows in a life cycle perspective; (b) Linking of these dynamic models to life cycle inventory information  and quantifying current and future level of impacts; (c) defining and integrating absolute environmental limits, e.g. from the Planetary Boundaries framework, into the methodology; and (d) developing a consistent methodology from activities (a-c) and applying it to one or more defined case studies.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a relevant M.Sc. degree, such as architectural, civil, or environmental engineering. The successful candidate will contribute to improving the scientific methods used for environmental impact assessment of cities taken as large-scale systems. The PhD student will be based in QSA/DTU.

Qualifications
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 strong background in the method development and application of life cycle assessment is highly recommended. This includes skills in as many of the following topics as possible: material flow analysis, life cycle inventory building and modelling, architectural or civil engineering, environmental modelling, environmental impact assessment and aggregation techniques, cycle assessment of buildings or the built environment, design and construction of buildings and/or city planning. Understanding of and experience with absolute sustainability assessments will be a major advantage. Experience with the UN SDGs especially SDG 11 and 12, will also be valued high. Advanced skills in programming, statistics and data management will be required. A high motivation for research, and excellent communication skills in English (both writing and speaking) 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

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Prof. Michael Hauschild, Assoc. Prof. Alexis Laurent and Assist. Prof. Morten Ryberg according to the qualification requirements stated above.  

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.

The workplace will be at DTU Lyngby Campus.

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Further information
For further information please contact Associate Professor Alexis Laurent, alau@dtu.dk, Tel: +45 4525 4423 or Assistant Professor Morten Ryberg, moryb@dtu.dk, Tel: +45 4525 1636. 

You can read more about the
division for Quantitative Sustainability Assessment (QSA) here

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 23 September 2019 (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)
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 conducts excellent research in the intersection between management, technology and economics, in close cooperation with companies and public authorities.

In our research, we focus on the path to an efficient and sustainable society. A key element is the role of technology and its interaction with industry, individuals, government, institutions and society as a whole.

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.