Postdoc Integral Sustainability Analysis in Resources Recovery Systems (focus on social aspects)

Research / Academic

The Biotechnology & Society group of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, the Netherlands) is looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher with a demonstrable solid multidisciplinary–background and strong interests in Integral Sustainability Analysis of Resource Recovery Technologies from Wastewater Streams. We are looking in particular for a postdoc with experience on quantitative/qualitative socio-economic impacts assessment (e.g. input-output analysis, general equilibrium model, social-LCA) and wastewater treatment technologies. It is also desirable that the postdoc has knowledge on resource recovery technologies, conceptual process design and simulation, techno-economic evaluation, environmental impacts assessment (life cycle assessment), and/or qualitative social research methods for stakeholders analysis and public perceptions.

This 3-year Postdoctoral Researcher position is offered within the EU-funded WATER-MINING project, a 17 million euro project aiming to demonstrate innovative water resource solutions. As part of the project, demonstrations in Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands will be built to show novel and efficient ways to reclaim nutrients, minerals, energy and water from industrial and urban wastewaters and seawaters. The public-private consortium, led by TU Delft, consists of 38 public and private partners in 12 countries. The project aims to provide examples for real-world implementation of the Water Framework Directive to help the transition to Circular Economy, incorporating EU Green Deal packages.

You will mostly focus on developing and applying social impact assessment methods while aiming to understand stakeholders’ concerns, motivations, and contexts to enhance public acceptance of the innovative solutions for each demonstration case-study.

This position will require frequent communication and interaction with industry and academic partners involved in the sustainability assessment tasks as well as with experts from different disciplines (technology developers, experimentalists, local water board representatives, and policy makers) and with local stakeholders.

You will have the opportunity to further develop your career by: i) gaining a broader and deeper understanding of the complex issues of sustainable development and its metrics; ii) working in a transdisciplinary environment and being part of a large international project; and iii) getting in direct contract with key actors involved in the different development stages of an innovative technological solution (from experimentalists, to technology developers, to policy makers and local communities).

The intended starting date is December 1, 2020.


The ideal candidate is an ambitious, proactive and result-driven researcher. A team player devoted to high quality in both research and education in an international and interdisciplinary environment.

  • A completed PhD degree on sustainability analysis/assessment for one (or more) of the following systems: wastewater treatment technologies, resource recovery systems, circular economy, biorefineries, or similar.   
  • Solid experience on macro-socio-economic impact assessment. 
  • Some experience in (at least) one of the following areas: qualitative social research methods for stakeholders analysis and public perceptions, environmental impacts assessment (LCA), techno-economic evaluation, or conceptual process design and simulation.
  • Strong affinity for understanding the broader context of developing sustainable innovative solutions for resources recovery from wastewater streams, and their socio-economic and environmental impacts for local communities.
  • Fluency in English both spoken and written. Excellent communication/reporting skills, and presentation capabilities.
  • Willingness to spend time abroad.      

Salary Benefits:

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

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Work Hours:

38 - 40 hours per week


Mekelweg 2