We welcome applications for a full-time PhD position within the Research Group Sustainable Systems Engineering (STEN) of the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, UGent. The PhD student will be appointed in a fellowship position on the EU project “DICE”.
A short summary of the DICE project:
DICE is an EU HORIZON project, coordinated by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV in Belgium, and aims to develop and demonstrate novel, circular and environmentally sound solutions to design, collect, directly reuse, refurbish, remanufacture and recycle digital health devices (ePaper label, smart wearable sensor, smart pill box, endo-cutter), which will contribute to enabling a circular transition. Solutions will be implemented, tested and demonstrated in five healthcare ecosystems reflecting the geographical spread within Europe through community-engaged pilots in Norway, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain and Germany. DICE will contribute to mitigating the globally expanding health waste problem covering three material streams -electronics, plastics, metal- and alleviate the shortage of critical and valuable raw materials, while protecting the health and safety of those involved in realising the circular economy. Exploitation of key outputs will be ensured by all partners throughout and after the project and will be further extended to adjacent sectors through existing networks and platforms within which the partners are represented.
Your tasks will mainly be connected to WP5 which focuses on comprehensively assessing the sustainability and circular economy performance of smart digital health devices. A value chain model for each of the proposed DICE solutions and their benchmark needs to be mapped, including all life cycle stages and regional differences, the identification of system boundaries, the definition of the functional unit and an inventory including a quantitative overview of all energy and mass inputs and outputs. Qualitative social data will also be considered. The circularity of the DICE solutions and their benchmark will be assessed by a selection of appropriate circular economy indicators, including both indicators at micro scale (focused on products, services, companies) and macro scale (national or global). The economic, social and environmental impacts for each of the DICE solutions, considering the entire value chain, will be calculated. For the economic assessment, a life cycle costing (LCC) approach will be adopted. The social assessment will be carried out by applying the UNEP SETAC 2020 Social LCA Guidelines. The environmental sustainability will be assessed using the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method. On top, integrative circular digital health dashboards will be developed and tested. That way, wider-reaching and longer-term impacts and consequences from the modelling of complex interactions of many different economic, social, and environmental factors can be covered. Different scenarios will be tested with regards to building a resilient system across the entire supply-chain and lifecycle of design, usage, and decommissioning.
Candidates are expected to have an (bio)engineering background and/or affinity with sustainability analysis methods such as life cycle assessment, and be acquainted with the circular economy concept. For this project we are looking for someone who is critical, analytical and has a sense of initiative.
Other profile requirements:
- You hold a master’s degree in environmental engineering, bioscience engineering, chemical engineering, environmental science, environmental technology or equivalent. The degree requirements must be met at the start of the appointment.
- You are interested in scientific research in order to obtain a doctoral degree.
- You have good writing and presentation skills.
- You have a very good oral and written knowledge of academic English.
- You live in Belgium or are willing to settle here for the duration of the appointment.
- Additional plus points: 1) You have experience in carrying out quantitative and/or qualitative research and in collecting data independently and 2) You have experience with LCA software such as openLCA, Gabi, SimaPro, etc. and LCA databases (e.g. ecoinvent).
How to apply
Please apply to this vacancy no later than May 23rd 2022 by sending an e-mail to: Dr. ir. Sue Ellen Taelman ([email protected] )
The following documents must be submitted:
- letter of motivation
- a copy of the highest degree and a summary of the results of the studies.