Industrial PhD opportunity with DTU and RGS Nordic

Friday 03 Sep 21

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Industry: RGS Nordic, Waste management company www.rgsnordic.com

University: Technical University of Denmark (DTU Management & DTU Environment) and Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Project title
Circular business model for urban mining of secondary resources from construction and demolition waste within greater Copenhagen. 

Project background:
The construction sector has been key in building our modern societies, and today increasing population and urbanization create global demand for construction. But in absolute measures current construction practices are unsustainable as these contribute to exceedance of absolute environmental boundaries and resource supply horizons.

The construction industry is standing on the threshold to a sustainable transformation based on circular economy.

The Innovation Fund Denmark has granted an Industrial PhD program for the research and development of a circular business model for construction waste. We are looking for the right candidate for this PhD project.

Project aim:
The ambition is to investigate the opportunities and practices for establishing a reverse supply chain for materials from construction waste, securing all links from the origin of waste to the use of materials that benefit users, clients, companies, other stakeholders of the construction industry, as well as society at large.

The aim is to establish a platform for competitive secondary construction materials and the corresponding new business model for the circular supply of secondary construction materials.

Project scope:
The project includes three overall objectives:

  1. to map the circular business potential for different construction materials/fractions
  2. to improve the competitiveness of circular materials
  3. to develop (new) business models based on circular economy.

To achieve this, the project will include as well academically as industrial activities like:

  • Development of new methods for mapping circular business potential for different qualities of building materials.
  • Development of new methods and strategies that prioritize the materials to be transferred from recovery to recycling.
  • Industrialization of processes by e.g. production improvement, a higher degree of quality control and customer orientated technical/environmental documentation
  • Research and development of innovative solutions and new competencies to transform and adapt RGS Nordics services to the needs of a circular economy market.
  • Investigate current markets demands for secondary resources, conduct industry surveys, participate in advanced networks on circular construction and gather insights from players in the construction and related industries.
  • Development of a platform for supply of secondary construction materials laying the groundwork for an industrial symbiosis on circular construction.
  • Bringing together and cross-fertilising the theoretical domains of materials assessment, platforms and business models and thereby supporting transformation towards a circular construction industry.
  • Develop a new business model, that supports the transformation of the RGS Nordic business from the current approach to become a resource provider of sustainable building materials for the construction industry.

The team behind:
The Industrial PhD student will officially be employed by RGS Nordic while simultaneously being enrolled in the PhD program at DTU Management. The industrial support team includes Head of group sustainability Ebbe Naamansen, CEO Flemming Bendt and Head of strategy Rasmus Buch. The academic supervision team counts Associate Professor Christian Thuesen (DTU Management), Senior Researcher Anders Damgaard (DTU Environment) and Kristjan Jespersen (CBS). In addition, the student will be embedded network of leading businesses of circular construction and a community of other PhD students within circular built environment (https://bloxhub.org/circular-built-environment/). 

You are:
Sustainable and business savvy, interested in the green transition and the interplay between technology, circular economy, humans and business. You have a relevant academic degree, it could be within areas of engineering, economy or environment and you are passionate about conducting pioneering and forward-looking research, would like to work in a leading environmental company, and are comfortable in interacting with different stakeholders in Denmark and abroad? Go for it.

The process from here:
We are looking forward to receiving your expression of interest now. As we have been granted the funds for the industrial PhD, we will initiate interviews with potential applicants as soon as possible. The application deadline is end September 2021. We envisage a PhD project start as soon as possible e.g. September/October 2021. See further information on the official Industrial PhD programme here.

Expression of interest:
Please express your interest by clicking here. Here you can register and upload one PDF file containing: Short motivation cover letter, outlining your interest, research, and industry practice experience (max 2 pages):

  • CV (including publication list if applicable)
  • Course transcripts, including grade for bachelor and master’s theses/final projects
  • Copy of Bachelor and Master’s degree certificates
  • Name for potential reference contacts

You cannot use the DTU job link to apply for this position. Please use the link above.

Application deadline: 30 September 2021.

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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 12,900 students and 6,000 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.