PhD position in “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Hydropower”

PhD position in “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Hydropower”

Published Deadline Location
14 May 10 Jun Enschede

Job description

This is one of two PhD positions that are part of an international and multidisciplinary research project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme entitled “Innovative Storage Technology and Operations in Hydropower”. The overall project goal is to develop innovative and sustainable pumped storage technologies and control strategies to support the flexibility and resilience of the EU energy grid. This is achieved by enhancing the lifetime and recyclability of components and equipment, devising operation strategies for unconventional conditions (e.g. salt water or coal mine applications), and through sensor-based condition monitoring systems. Furthermore, digital tools for operational management are employed to consider the dynamics of renewable energy generation and demand as well as improving efficiency and reliability. These individual components are integrated in a cyber-physical platform for advanced decision support to promote a broader operating range and increased flexibility of EU hydropower generation and storage as part of Europe’s energy transition.

The specific focus of your PhD project is the analysis of the environmental effect caused by the innovations developed in the project by means of life cycle assessment (LCA). You get the chance to work with technological and operational hydropower experts from the early development stages of technologies to inform and influence the design processes. Next to analysing global environmental impacts along the supply chain, you will develop ways to analyse local impacts on water quality and aquatic biodiversity as well as the contribution of the technologies to circular economy. Finally, you can compare the environmental performance of the innovations developed in the project to conventional hydropower technologies and to alternative energy storage solutions like batteries and hydrogen. This analysis will help pinpoint their advantages and drawbacks in the transition towards sustainable energy storage. You will work in close cooperation with a second PhD candidate whose focus is on economic life cycle costing and integrated sustainability assessment.

Specifications

University of Twente (UT)

Requirements

We are looking for an enthusiastic, professional, and ambitious colleague, with the following profile.
  • You hold a Master’s degree in a field relevant to the PhD topic, such as Engineering, Environmental Science, Industrial Ecology, or Natural Resource Management
  • You have a strong background in life cycle assessment, sustainability analysis, or multi-criteria analysis
  • Knowledge of circular economy, hydropower and energy storage or other relevant technologies is an asset
  • You have strong analytical skills;
  • You exhibit high levels of self-motivation while also being a team player;
  • You enjoy working in a multidisciplinary research setting with an international research team to achieve both scientific excellence and technological relevance;
  • You can prove your excellent command of the English language and strong (professional) communication skills.

Conditions of employment

You will be employed full-time for a period of 4 years. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.
  • A full-time 4-year PhD-position;
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • A salary of € 2.770 gross per month in the first year and a salary of € 3.539 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of the gross annual salary;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment;

Department

The Chair of Multidisciplinary Water Management. Freshwater is essential to sustain life and economic development but it is also a vulnerable resource whose availability and quality varies around the globe. We need to understand the natural and socio-economic processes that affect water resources and develop solutions to water scarcity, flooding, and pollution while considering interactions with other aspects of sustainable development.

Our group studies the dynamics of water demand and availability as influenced by agricultural and industrial production, consumption and international trade as well as climate change, the energy transition, environmental policies, and offsetting strategies. The methods we use include water footprint and life cycle assessment, hydrological modelling, environmentally extended input-output analysis, integrated assessment, and policy evaluation.

We understand water related grand challenges as a shared responsibility in a wider environmental and socio-economic context. Hence, we engage different stakeholders and sectors to develop both science-based and actionable solutions. To support decision-making, we provide data, models, and tools and share our knowledge in academic teaching and science dissemination.

Additional information

For additional information regarding this position, you can contact prof.dr.ir. Markus Berger, email m.berger@utwente.nl.

Please apply by uploading a motivation letter (1 page), your CV (max 2 pages), a writing sample (max 1 page e.g., an abstract of a publication or a summary of your master’s thesis) as well as relevant certificates until 10 June 2024 using the link below.

The first (online) job interview will take place on 18/19 June 2024.

We encourage Master students to apply even if they still have to graduate in the coming months.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1790

Employer

University of Twente (UT)

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Location

Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 10 Jun 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).