PhD in Additive manufacturing of sustainable concrete for zero-energy buildings

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 24 Nov 2020

Opportunity for a full-time PhD position for outstanding candidates to join the project - Additive manufacturing of sustainable concrete for zero-energy buildings. We are looking for MSc graduates with a strong interest in the built environment, additive manufacturing and automation/robotics.


Built Environment

Reference number


Job description

The civil engineering sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, and Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for approximately 25% to 30% of all waste generated in the EU. Securing resource and energy efficiency are key drivers to improve sustainability in buildings and civil infrastructures. Current mixes for 3D printable concrete use high amounts of cement, which increases the material’s embodied energy and carbon footprint. Although 3D printing technology is developing rapidly, buildings made through 3D printed concrete still lack adequate thermal performance. To make the technology attractive for the industry sector these buildings need to fit The Netherlands’ target for energy efficient and zero-energy dwellings. In this project, we address these pressing issues through two complementary strategies:

  • acting on the mix composition to make it more sustainable – lowering the cement content, replacing it with sustainable additives that can act as binders, and
  • applying solutions that can improve thermal performance, through passive (insulation) or active (heat storage) methods.

By developing new compositions with improved thermal efficiency and lower cement content, 3D printed buildings can become an alternative and viable solution for nearly zero energy housing. This project involves several industrial partners and the results of the research will become available for industrial implementation.

This is a project funded by NWO, led by TU/e in collaboration with a consortium of industrial partners:

You will work within the 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) research group that operates and develops its own 3D Concrete Printer at the Department of the Built Environment. The group is currently running several projects, including Project Milestone, the world’s first commercial housing project based on 3D-concrete printing -

Job requirements

PhD in Sustainable and thermally active materials for 3D printed buildings

This is a position to develop new sustainable compositions for zero-energy 3D printed buildings, including mixes with low cement and thermally active (energy storage) additives. Specific methodologies will be defined for testing thermal efficiency and heat storage capability.

Specific requirements:

  • MSc degree in Civil Engineering, Materials Engineering, or equivalent,
  • A strong background in construction materials (experience with rheology characterisation techniques, inorganic chemistry and geopolymers) is essential.
  • Knowledge of additive manufacturing in construction and heat storage/transfer is desirable.

General requirements:

  • Good communication and organisation skills,
  • Strong cooperation skills and the ability to work in a team,
  • Excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing.
  • Ability to work independently within a dynamic team and a multidisciplinary research environment.

Conditions of employment
  • A challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the autonomy to develop your own research line and participate in the curriculum of the department;
  • As an Irène Curie Fellow, you are entitled to a substantial benefit package.
  • In order to empower you, we provide support such as training programs for academic leadership and the university teaching qualification and a dedicated mentoring program to help you get to know the university and the Dutch (research) environment
  • Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour 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;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes).
  • Family friendly initiatives are in place, such as the Dual Career Opportunity program to support accompanying partners, an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr. Sandra Lucas, e-mail: s.s.d.o.lucas[at]

For information about terms of employment click here .

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


If you are interested in this position, you can only use the 'apply now'-button on this page. 

You can upload a maximum of 5 documents up to 2 MB each. Please upload (in pdf format):

  • Cover letter (2 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest and an explanation of why you meet the job requirements (see above).
  • Detailed Curriculum vitae,
  • Transcripts of academic records showing courses taken, including grades,
  • Contact details of two references (e-mail, phone number).

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

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