PhD in environmental, social and economic performance of 3DP buildings

PhD in environmental, social and economic performance of 3DP buildings

Published Deadline Location
7 May 20 Jun Eindhoven

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Opportunity for a full-time PhD in design for improving environmental, social and economic performance of 3DP buildings. We are looking for MSc graduates with a strong interest in the built environment, additive manufacturing and automation/robotics.

Job description

The civil engineering sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, and Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for approximately 25% to 30% of all waste generated in the EU. Securing resource and energy efficiency are key drivers to improve sustainability in buildings and civil infrastructures. Current mixes for 3D printable concrete use high amounts of cement, which increases the material's embodied energy and carbon footprint. Although 3D printing technology is developing rapidly, buildings made through 3D printed concrete still lack adequate thermal performance. To make the technology attractive for the industry sector these buildings need to fit The Netherlands' target for energy efficient and zero-energy dwellings. In this project, we address these pressing issues through two complementary strategies: 
  • acting on the mix composition to make it more sustainable - lowering the cement content, replacing it with sustainable additives that can act as binders, and
  • applying solutions that can improve thermal performance, through passive (insulation) or active (heat storage) methods.

To achieve net-zero energy buildings with 3DP mixes, new innovative solutions need to be tested - solutions that lower CO2 emissions and also reduce energy demand. Thermal performance of concrete in conventional structures can be improved not only by using insulation materials but also through the application of heat storage as an active heating/cooling solution. 

By developing new solutions and structures with improved thermal efficiency, 3D printed buildings can become an alternative and viable solution for nearly zero-energy housing. This project involves several industrial partners and the results of the research will become available for industrial implementation. 

This is a project funded by NWO, led by TU/e in collaboration with a consortium of industrial partners. 
You will work within the 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) research group that operates and develops its own 3D Concrete Printer at the Department of the Built Environment. The group is currently running several projects, including Project Milestone, the world's first commercial housing project based on 3D-concrete printing.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We are looking for: 

This PhD involves an holistic approach, through an iterative multi-criteria design process, to assess and mitigate environmental, social and economic impacts of 3DP buildings. The candidate is expected to develop sustainable and low-impact solutions through an approach that combines materials, design, sustainability and responsible innovation. 

Specific requirements: 
  • MSc degree in Architecture, Civil Engineering, or related field.
  • The candidate should have experience in construction materials, thorough knowledge of laboratory work and passion for digital fabrication, architecture and the built environment.

We are looking for a background and practical experience, within at least two of the following fields:

o    3D-printing of construction materials
o    Architectural Design and Engineering
o    Sustainability, resilience and circular economy in the building sector

General requirements:
  • Good communication and organisation skills,
  • Ability to work independently within a dynamic team and a multidisciplinary research environment
  • Strong cooperation skills
  • Professional working proficiency in English. A minimum grade of an independent language test is required (TOEFL or IELTS) for all non-native English-speaking candidates who hold a MSc degree from another program than the TU/e. IELTS: Overall grade 7.0 with a minimum sub score of 7.0 for both speaking and writing. TOEFL: Overall band score of at least 90 and a minimum score of 21 for each section. TU/e only accepts the TOEFL internet-based test.

Conditions of employment

We offer: 
  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V38.4995


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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