PhD on Rebound Effect within Digitally-enabled Food Sharing Platforms

Research / Academic

In the era of smart industry, where advanced technologies and data-driven approaches are revolutionizing traditional processes, digitally-enabled food sharing platforms have emerged as innovative solutions to address sustainability challenges within the food sector. These platforms leverage the principles of Industry 4.0, such as interoperability, real-time capability, and data-driven innovation, to enhance efficiency and reduce food waste. By integrating smart technologies, food sharing platforms not only optimize resource use but also promote sustainable consumption patterns within the circular economy. This PhD position offers an exciting opportunity to explore the rebound effects within these innovative platforms, ensuring that these digitally-enabled sharing platforms fulfill their promise of reducing food waste and supporting sustainable consumption patterns in the circular economy while also addressing and mitigating potential negative outcomes.

More specifically, this PhD project aims to investigate the dynamics of the rebound effect within digitally-enabled food sharing platforms, such as Too Good To Go and Olio, which have emerged to prevent food waste, and in that way, support the transition towards a circular economy. The primary goal of this project is to analyze the mechanisms of food sharing platforms from a business model perspective by means of systems thinking, develop a comprehensive understanding of the market formation for these platforms, and analyze the potential rebound effect linked to them (e.g., increasing overall production and consumption due to greater availability and access to surplus food). The successful candidate is expected to build a robust system dynamics model to simulate and predict these potential side effects. In this regard, the research will provide insights into how food sharing platforms can be managed to maximize their potential for effective food waste prevention and resource optimization while minimizing or mitigating the rebound effect.

The PhD position is funded by the Sectorplan Techniek II, and the candidate will perform the research in an international team within the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship, & Marketing (ITEM) group of the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS). The research will be concluded with a PhD thesis. The supervisory team will consist of Dr. Bob Walrave and Dr. Zahra Shams Esfandabadi (contact person).

The ITEM group consists of about 25 FTE faculty members and 30 FTE PhD students who participate in and contribute to the research, education, and service program of the ITEM group. The graduate 'Innovation Management' program is one of the leading programs in the world and emphasizes means for measuring and improving the process of conceiving, developing, and launching new products and businesses, and also managing these products and businesses post-launch.

More information about the ITEM group can be found at:

Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the world's leading research universities (ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement) and is particularly well known for its joint research with industry (often ranked within the top 5, worldwide, by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies). The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the longest-established engineering institutes in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the fields of Operations Management and Innovation Management, which are at the core of the undergraduate BSc program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics and Innovation Management attract top-level students from all over the world.


  • You have a Master's degree in System Dynamics, Industrial Engineering, Innovation Management, Strategic Management, Economics, or a related discipline.
  • You have affinity and experience with System Dynamics modeling and simulation.
  • You have experience with or interest in the sharing economy, digital platforms, and sustainability.
  • You have strong analytical skills and demonstrated research competencies for performing qualitative and quantitative research.
  • You have the ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • You have the ability to navigate and manage complex, multi-stakeholder settings.
  • You like to take initiative, and you are able to work on a challenging topic that has both basic and applied research aspects.
  • You have excellent social, communication, and organization skills to work effectively in a university and industry setting.
  • Your verbal and written communication skills are excellent, as is your proficiency in English.

Salary Benefits:

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting, and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e, we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates. 
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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