PhD position - Refining the Inclusion of the Temporal Dimensions in Life Cycle Assessment Based Decision Support

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 13 Dec 2021

SDU Life Cycle Engineering at the Department of Green Technology invites applications for a PhD position within the life cycle assessment (LCA) discipline.   

Creating a sustainable future requires a holistic insight and understanding of the long-term interactions of technologies and other systems within the world on a global scale. Our goal is to develop the knowledge and methods for achieving this insight. We offer the opportunity to work in cross-disciplinary projects in the areas of application of LCA for high-quality temporally dependent decision support. 

The position is available from 15. January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description
The PhD research to be conducted during the PhD will take it’s origin in several national and international research projects. The common denominator of the projects is the temporal aspect and its implication on retrospective/prospective system comparison in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Topics of the research to be conducted will include coupling of LCA and consensus-based future scenarios for evaluating future/historical performance of large-scale systems. The candidate will gain expert knowledge in temporally dependent LCA, as well as communicating related findings in a way that is intuitive and applicable in an interdisciplinary context and by different end users.

The successful candidates will be affiliated with SDU Life Cycle Engineering at the Department of Green Technology, University of Southern Denmark which is located at the Faculty of Engineering on the international campus in Odense, Denmark.

Project context
The PhD candidate will work on several research projects, which all address the temporal aspect of LCA as a generic theme, as well as the communication and implementation of the results towards relevant stakeholders.

The main project has a historical perspective, quantifying the Danish climate burden under the industrial revolution, and comparing this to the current status quo.

A second project supports a joint business venture, where goal is to improve the attractiveness and availability of circular construction materials. Through LCA and future scenario analysis, the possible outcomes of circular economy will be assessed and communicated.

A third project aims to quantify the environmental impact savings from a new type of synthetic jet fuel currently in development.

The main tasks of the PhD candidate are:

  • Introduction of consistent future scenario modelling in LCA
  • Development of temporal dependent inventory analysis and impact assessment
  • Quantification and communication of multi-scenario multi-scale LCA results

The successful candidate has a master degree environmental/sustainable engineering, environmental science or an associated area and has ideally experience in combining environmental and economic assessments for deriving decision support relevant for industry and/or academia.

The required qualifications are:

  • A master degree or similar (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) in a field relevant/close to the core topic of the PhD
  • Experience in interdisciplinary project work as well as LCA or similar projects in collaboration with industry
  • Written and spoken language proficiency in English

Supplementary qualifications include:

  • Danish language proficiency (not a requirement, but will be considered an advantage)
  • Programming skills
  • Basic understanding of civil engineering, engineering design, e.g. in the built environment
  • Knowledge within innovation and business
  • Experience in scientific publishing
  • Experience in working on LCA related commercial projects
  • Experience with consequential LCA inventory modeling

Contact information

Further information about this position is available from Professor WSR, Morten Birkved, e-mail:,

phone: (+45) 6550 7636.   

If you experience technical problems you must contact .  

Conditions of employment
Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position (start salary amounts to approx. 3.378,- EURO per month incl. supplements).

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the Head of the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment , while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation .

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order), read more here . 

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process . Shortlisting may be used. 

Application procedure
The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students and the SDU information on How to apply before applying.

The application deadline is 13. December, 2021.

The application must be in English and must include the following - the required forms must be found at the Faculty website :

  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants. Find the form at the Faculty website .
  • Motivation personal application. Upload in the field called “Project description”. 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams, both original and translated into English.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Find the form at the Faculty website . Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, in case you have any publications. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication.
  • References, if any. Reference letters may also be included. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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