2 PhD candidates related to two National Science Foundation projects on circularity of electronics and steel

2 PhD candidates related to two National Science Foundation projects on circularity of electronics and steel

Published Deadline Location
2 May 30 May Leiden

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Job description

The Faculty of Science, the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) is looking for 

2 PhD candidates related to two National Science Foundation projects on circularity of electronics and steel, requiring expertise in the field of Life cycle assessment and Material flow analysis

Vacancy number: 23-322

CML has acquired two related projects from the Dutch Science Foundation on a circular economy, respectively on electronics and steel. 
The ‘Circular circuits’ project will develop a fully circular generation of electronics. It will develop solutions to overcome technical, economic and societal bottlenecks for lifetime extension, reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling through development of a new generation of electronic components, product-service design, new business models and advanced recycling technology.. The PhD candidate at CML will work on Work Package 1, Material flow analysis (MFA) and improvement hotspots assessment with (ex-ante) Life cycle assessment (LCA).  
The ‘Sublime’ project aims to increase the sustainability and reliability of steel infrastructures. In two Work packages the project will develop predictive Digital Twins (DTs) to safely maintain infrastructures enabling a much longer service life. The PhD at CML will work in the third work package, on a task focusing on MFA and LCA of steel infrastructures to investigate the potential for reducing resource extraction and CO2 emissions. This PhD will interact with another PhD at TU Delft, working on tasks related to stakeholder mapping and governance. 
Both projects are multi-partner projects of half a dozen of Dutch research institutes and multiple companies and organisations. The projects will make a pivotal contribution to the Dutch Government program ‘Netherlands Circular by 2050’. 

Key tasks
Key tasks in both position are:
1.    Material flow analysis to assess the volume and potential of the urban mine for respectively electronics and steel providing an indication of priorities for improvements.
2.    Ex-ante circularity/life cycle assessments and –costing to optimize across lifetime extension and different recovery scenarios
3.    Determination of cost-effective ways to improve the circularity of electronic products and steel, respectively.
4.    Connecting the work on MFA and LCA to other Work Packages (e.g. the Digital Twins in Sublime and technical improvement options developed in both projects)


Leiden University


Selection criteria
•    You should have an M.Sc. in a relevant field (sustainability science, and/or industrial ecology), but we also consider candidates from other scientific fields with good mathematical and programming skills and an interest in sustainability;`
•    Strong data management, visualization and coding skills (e.g. in Matlab, Python and/or R) are a must. During your MSc your thesis ideally involved handling, combining, and analysing large datasets;
•    Knowledge of industrial ecology methods, such as LCA, IOA and material flow analysis (MFA);
•    You must be proficient in spoken and written English;
•    You are a team player, and are able to communicate your work to other consortium members of various disciplines, including industry partners.

Conditions of employment

Terms and conditions 
We offer a 1-year position with the possibility of extension to 4 years based on performance. Salary ranges from € 2.541.- gross per month in the first year to € 3.247 gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). 

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.  


Research at our Institute/Faculty 
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The environmental science research in CML is organized around two major research areas: ‘Industrial Ecology’ and ‘Environmental Biology’. This makes CML one of the few institutes covering both the circular, sustainable economic use of natural resources and natural capital, as well as assessing the environmental impacts of economic activities on natural resources, biodiversity and natural capital. Presently, over 150 FTE (including postdocs and PhDs) are employed at CML. CML collaborates with the TU Delft and Erasmus University (Rotterdam) in the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability (LDE-CfS).


  • PhD
  • 23-322



Rapenburg, 2311 VJ, Leiden

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