PhD ReCreate: Reusing precast concrete for a circular economy

PhD ReCreate: Reusing precast concrete for a circular economy

Published Deadline Location
27 May 4 Jul Eindhoven
Are you one of our next PhDs Circular Structural Design? This is your opportunity to contribute to a transition from a linear to a circular economy from a structural engineering and design perspective.

Job description

In 2015, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals presented ambitious goals for the first time to combat global warming.
For example, the energy requirements shall be significantly reduced by 2030, resources are to be better used and waste is to be avoided. The construction industry plays a major role here, as it is currently responsible for around 40% of the CO2 emissions caused by energy generation. 

The concept of circular economy provides a promising concept to achieve more sustainable solutions in the built environment and is defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with three key principles: 1) Design out waste and pollution, 2) Keep products and materials in use and
3) Regenerate natural systems. The three PhD positions will all research in the context of 'keep products and materials in use'.

All positions are embedded in a large European research project, which focuses on the possible re-use of precast concrete elements and re-design for new building projects. The three researchers will primarily be involved in the two workpages, which will be led by TU/e and will include the study of following aspects: 
  • Deconstruction: The deconstruction of existing buildings with prefabricated concrete elements aims at recovering a highest possible number of the elements while maintaining their structural quality and integrity without compromising the health and safety of the deconstruction workers or the people in the vicinity of the deconstruction project. The main goals are to arrive at ways of inventarising the possible available and usable pre-cast elements (in relation to future re-use) in existing buildings, and to optimize ways of safely recovering and handling these elements without compromising the elements quality.
  • Redesign and reassembly: Here the key objective is to understand and to develop the redesign and reassembly process, in which precast concrete elements are reused in new buildings in a new architectural as well as structural configuration. In order to develop this process a thorough understanding of the relevant design parameters and especially a good knowledge about different connector types is necessary. Based on this the design process, in close collaboration with all stakeholders, will be developed and evaluated, which finally will yield to four real-life pilot projects in four countries. 

The PhD student is expected to perform scientific research in the described domain, publish work in scientific journals and present at conferences, collaborate within the research group as well as with external partners, and assist the staff in teaching undergraduate and graduate students. 

All three researchers will be hosted at the chair of Innovative Structural Design (ISD) at the department of the Built Environment. ISD is the centre of innovation towards structural integration and optimization. Integration of structural topology, deep knowledge of materials and mechanics combined with related disciplines are not only the foundations on which the
ISD group is built but also its viewpoint of vital future structural development. At the moment ISD consists of around 20 international staff member with a wide range of expertise and experiences.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


The ideal candidate will meet as many of the following requirements as possible: 
  • A MSc degree in structural/ civil engineering or architectural engineering/ technology with a strong focus on structures
  • Experience with structural analysis tools (FEM) as well as modelling tools (Grasshopper
    or BIM)
  • Experience or interest in all issues related to sustainablity, such as life-cycle-assessments, circular economy and other aspects
  • Experience or interest in programming (such as MATLAB or Python)
  • Fluent English skills, both written and spoken; A minimum grade of an independent language test is required (TOEFL or IELTS) for all 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
  • Ability to function in cooperation with industry
  • Interest in co-supervising MSc projects

Conditions of employment

  • 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.

Additional information

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Patrick Teuffel, p.m.teuffel[at] 

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.BE[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of
    three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.
  • Proof of English language skill (TOEFL/ IELST)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts of your degrees.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V38.5040


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 4 Jul 2021 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).