Postdoc CirculaREE

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 03 Jan 2024

24 Nov 2023
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

3 Jan 2024 - 22:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The European Union (EU) lists Rare-Earth Elements (REEs) as critical raw materials with highest rank in terms of supply risks. For this reason, enhancing the circularity of REEs – that is, the potential reuse, remanufacturing, or recycling of REEs – is a top priority. To increase the circularity potential of REEs, the products containing REEs – such as electric motors – should be (re)designed to optimize each stage of the product’s life cycle. Obviously, the (re)design affects manufacturing, service-life, and end-of-life processing routes, and, consequently, the circularity of REEs. However, this poses several integration challenges, as different stages of the product’s life cycle require highly specialized knowledge from different stakeholders. A prominent example is the extremely low recycling rate (< 1%) for REE from NdFeB permanent magnets, despite more than a decade of intensive scientific and engineering research efforts and urgency from the EU. To address this problem, we propose a research project that combines knowledge from industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science.

You will work in close collaboration and complement the individual research activities of Napoleone and Abrahami. The recycling group at MSE, Abrahami group, mainly focuses on the metallurgical recovery of REEs from magnets or other specialty products. Nonetheless, different magnet’s designs and integration mechanisms (i.e. how the magnet is integrated or embedded into a product, such as using adhesives or glues) substantially affect the efficiency of the end-of-life processes, and consequently the potential reuse, remanufacturing, or recycling of REEs. Napoleone’s research focuses on reconfigurable and smart industrial systems that rapidly and cost effectively adapt to product evolution.

The project will investigate alternative magnet’s designs and integration in electric motors for cars and scooters and measure the life-cycle effects on circularity of REEs. Moreover, the project will also look at how design choices are translated into requirements at different stages of the value chain. Specifically, this project will address the following research questions (RQs):

RQ1. What is the current and future variety of magnet designs in electric motors for cars and scooters?

RQ2. Which key variables affect end-of-life processing efficiency (e.g., production method, size, coating types, fixation method)?

RQ3. How to isolate design parameters affecting the magnet’s life cycle (including metal end-of-life processing)?

RQ4. What new knowledge for magnet design and life cycle can be derived? and how is this knowledge converted into requirements at different stages of the value chain?

Specific Requirements

We are looking for a proactive, self-motivated candidate to conduct multi-disciplinary research that includes design and modeling work. Applicants should have a industrial/electrical engineering background and, preferably, a PhD within electric motor design. You will work in close collaboration with both supervisors, and with a current postdoc at MSE. You will combine practical knowledge about magnets preparation and REEs recycling from MSE collaborators with modular development knowledge and methods from Napoleone.


  • You have hands-on experience in design of motors based on permanent magnets, and sound knowledge in electrical engineering.
  • You have experience in life cycle assessment, root-cause analysis and multi-criteria analysis.
  • Additionally prior experience with simulation software is an advantage.
  • You have good communication skills (high English proficiency) and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team, involving the departments of materials science and engineering (MSE) and Maritime and Transport Technology (MTT) at the 3mE faculty in TU Delft.

The expected starting period is early 2024; contract duration: 1-year.

Additional Information

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 3 January 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • A motivation letter.
  • A detailed CV.
  • A copy or link to your PhD thesis or selected papers.
  • Contact details of 2-3 references.


  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Anita van Vianen, HR Advisor: [email protected] .

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, please contact: Dr. Alessia Napoleone, [email protected] .

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

Where to apply



Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD


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