PhD in Design of Next Generation Electronics for a Circular Economy

PhD in Design of Next Generation Electronics for a Circular Economy

Published Deadline Location
14 Nov 10 Jan Delft

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Job description

TU Delft’s department of Sustainable Design Engineering has an opening for a PhD candidate, who will contribute to the research and design of a novel, fully circular generation of electronics. The work will lead to the development of design for recycling and recovery methods for electronic products (target group: industrial designers). Recycling of electronics is currently hampered by low recycling rates due to low collection rates and low yields of the recovery processes. Existing design for recycling guidelines are generic and have rarely been tested and validated in practice. Your responsibilities will include an investigation into the recyclability of a range of electronic products, with current as well as emerging recycling technologies. This implies a quantitative analysis of the composition of fragments resulting from recycling processes and a (semi)quantitative assessment of the environmental impacts of the recycling process. You’ll develop design for recycling guidelines, address the tension between design for recycling and design for remanufacturing, and investigate how product-service systems can improve collection rates, in close collaboration with the project partners. You will write academic journal articles on the results of your work. The PhD is part of the Dutch NWO project Circular Circuits. Partners in the project include ASML, NXP Semiconductors, KPN, Drake & Farrell, Leiden University and Rotterdam School of Management. You will also co-supervise Master graduate students that will be involved in the project.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


- Master in Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Electronics Engineering, or a closely related field.

- Affinity with design (if not from a design background)

- Demonstrable experience with (the design of) electronics and basic knowledge of recycling technology

- Scientific writing skills

- Basic Life Cycle Assessment experience and Circular Economy knowledge is a bonus

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!



Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

atching the evolution of people with the speed of the revolution of technology. This is the focus of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE). Delft designers act as a bridge between advances in technology and the needs of people, organisations and society to create products, services and systems with purpose.

IDE is a leader in design research across the application areas of mobility, sustainability and health, as well as its development of design tools and methods. A 350-strong research team and over 2,000 students work together in our inspiring hall, labs and studios.

In close cooperation with industry, the public sector and NGOs we rehearse possible futures in research and education to design for a complex future.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03056


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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