Postdoctoral Researcher Life Cycle Assessment of Bio-based PET

Postdoctoral Researcher Life Cycle Assessment of Bio-based PET

Published Deadline Location
30 May 14 Jun Sittard-Geleen

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Job description

We are looking for an expert in Life Cycle Assessment of polymers or chemicals to evaluate the carbon footprint reduction potential of fully biobased PET.

Job Description
Project information
Bio-based plastics hold great potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions with some environmental trade-offs. Bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (Bio-PET) emerges as a promising candidate in this sustainable materials landscape. When produced from the biobased monomers mono ethylene glycol (MEG) and terephthalic acid (PTA), the resulting plastic is entirely derived from renewable sources. Additionally, it can be recycled, supporting a circular plastic economy. A recent cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study shows that 100% bio-PET has a lower carbon footprint than conventional fossil-based PET. However, there is room for further improvement.

This project aims to evaluate various biobased production routes through LCA to optimize Bio-PET production for minimal climate impact. The study will also examine end-of-life scenarios to determine the most environmentally beneficial strategies for Bio-PET production and circularity. The overarching goal is to identify the most ecologically favourable production and circularity strategy for Bio-PET.

The research is funded by the Dutch Polymer Institute Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) within the Sustainable Polymers program. DPI is a global platform for collaboration in the field of polymer research. In the dynamic polymer science community, DPI is connecting business and academia, to create a strong international network of industry experts and high-quality scientists to pioneer ground-breaking innovation in polymer science and create sustainable solutions for long-term challenges. DPI research projects are carried out by leading science groups globally and guided by industrial experts of the participating companies.

Tasks and Responsibilities:
As a postdoctoral researcher, you will:
  • Develop, perform, and validate advanced environmental LCA studies for project-specific targets.
  • Develop the Life Cycle Inventory for the LCA studies through data collection with partners, collection of information in literature resources and databases, and extracting data from other sources, such as process modelling in ASPEN.
  • Work with a scientific project team and industrial partners to develop and discuss research problems.
  • Present your work at international conferences.
  • Write scientific papers for international peer-reviewed conferences and journals.
  • Provide teaching assistance and/or supervision within undergraduate and master’s projects and programs.

The postdoctoral researcher will work at the Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials Group of the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, one of the largest chemical and materials communities in Europe. You will become part of a vibrant multidisciplinary research group, specialized in the sustainability assessment of emerging biobased and circular chemical value chains. The postdoctoral research will be performed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Yvonne van der Meer.

  • A highly motivated candidate
  • A PhD degree in a pertinent field such as industrial ecology, sustainable polymers/chemistry, or sustainable chemical engineering.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills in LCA of biobased products or chemicals with a proven track record of authoring high-quality scientific papers.
  • Experience with industry collaborations is considered advantageous.
  • Willingness to collaborate in an efficient working style, and strong communication skills.
  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English.

What we offer
As Postdoctoral Researcher Life Cycle Assessment of Bio-based PET
at Faculty of Science & Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 11 according to UFO profile Researcher, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €4332,00 and €5929,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Science and Engineering
At the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), we focus on themes such as circularity and sustainability, future farming, digitisation and (scientific) instrument development. FSE's leading projects, like the Einstein Telescope Pathfinder, are sure to grab anyone's attention. The faculty is a vibrant hub of education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). At FSE, over 450 staff members and 3700 students gather to explore e exciting interdisciplinary research and educational programmes. Feel welcome, be part of our team and put your brilliant mind to work!

FSE at the Brightlands Campuses
Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen, and Venlo, the home of four creative Brightlands campuses, are bustling with 30,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, and students working diligently to solve global challenges. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is active on all four Brightlands campuses, and this is where our impact reaches its peak. To give you an idea of what is happening at each campus: Sittard-Geleen is home to the largest chemical site in the Euregion, while Venlo is a large hub for agri-food innovation. Maastricht is the site of the Health Campus, and Heerlen is the place to be for Smart Services.

Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM)
AMIBM is an institute of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at Maastricht University, located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. AMIBM is a European cross-border research institute established by Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University (Germany), focusing on developing advanced biobased materials.

The mission of AMIBM is “ground-breaking conversion of biomass to biobased materials and into product applications”. AMIBM promotes excellent multidisciplinary research in the field of biobased materials for advanced materials applications. The multidisciplinary team draws together scientists with expertise in molecular and applied biotechnology, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer engineering, biomedical materials, and sustainability assessment.

Click here for more information about AMIBM.

Research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials.
The mission of the research team is to provide suitable instruments and sustainability impact assessments to guide the transition from a fossil-based and linear economy to a biobased and circular economy.

We are a young and growing international team of sustainability experts focusing on environmental impact assessment in connection with economic and social impacts.

Click here for more information about the research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials.

AMIBM at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
AMIBM is embedded in a lively, entrepreneurial, and creative working environment at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen (the Netherlands). The neighbouring industrial site Chemelot Industrial Park is the second largest chemical industrial site in Europe.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Yvonne van der Meer, Chair of the research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials at for more information.

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our postdoctoral researcher? Apply now, no later than June 14, 2024 for this position. In the case that no suitable candidates are found, Maastricht University reserves the right to re-open the vacancy. Send in:
  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position. For the suitability part, please refer to the requirements for this position and add a table with an explanation of to what extent you meet each requirement.
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications and key achievements in research projects.
  • Contact information for two references.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1026


Maastricht University (UM)

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Urmonderbaan 22, 6167RD, Sittard-Geleen

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