EngD (formerly PDEng) in developing LCA and LCC models to support the sustainable valorization of building CDW in road pavem...

Research / Academic

The EngD is a 2-year post-master's degree, technological designers programme. This programme at the University of Twente contains an educational part and a design project. For the project, you will work with TNO. The educational programme will have an in-depth character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. Together with the external organisation, you will develop a high-level and creative solution for the given problem.


The Netherlands is widely recognized as a frontrunner in CDW recycling. However, the majority of the CDW is used as a road base material or as filler material to raise the level of industrial estates. Recycling in such low-value applications is called downcycling and consists of using recycled material for an application of less value than the original purpose of the material. Given the current context where Rijkswaterstaat is moving from the construction of new transportation infrastructure to the maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing ones, the market for downgraded recycled materials is expected to achieve a saturation point.

Using CDW materials in bounded layers of road pavement infrastructure is a promising alternative to downcycling that multiple recent research efforts have proved to be technically possible. However, the extent to which such alternative recycling routes are environmentally and economically beneficial remains unknown.

This project aims to tighten the links between building and road transportation infrastructure sectors through the development of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) models to quantify the environmental impacts and costs associated with the use of building CDW materials in bounded layers of road pavement infrastructure.


  1. Characterization (i.e., quantity, quality, composition and availability) of the CDW associated with the Dutch building sector
  2. Identification of alternative technical applications of recycled building CDW materials in road pavement infrastructure
  3. Identification of the key stakeholders influencing the use of recycled materials in road pavement infrastructure
  4. Quantification of the demand for raw materials in road pavement infrastructure that can be replaced by recycled building CDW materials
  5. Identification of the processes involved in the different building CDW recycling strategies
  6. Development of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to model to quantify the environmental impacts associated with the valorisation of building CDW in road pavement infrastructure
  7. Development of a Life Cycle Costs (LCC) model to quantify the costs associated with the valorisation of building CDW in road pavement infrastructure


  • MSc graduate with a background in industrial ecology, quantitative environmental sciences or civil engineering.
  • Strong knowledge and hands-on experience with Consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Material Flow Analysis (MFA) are mandatory requirements.
  • Hands-on experience with LCA software (preferentially openLCA or Brightway) and programming languages (preferentially Python) is strongly recommended for the candidate to successfully complete the project.
  • Knowledge on the dynamics of the Dutch building CDW management and road transportation infrastructure sectors is an additional merit.
  • The candidate must be eager to learn, have a can-do mindset, the ambition and talent to find solutions/craft designs for complex technological issues with a multidisciplinary character,
  • The candidate must have strong problem-solving abilities and out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-initiative, self-motivation and capacity to deliver accurate work are equally appreciated.
  • Professional command of English (both written and spoken) is mandatory, while communication skills in Dutch are also meritorious.

Salary Benefits:

  • A very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. The project will be performed in collaboration with the TNO and you will have the opportunity to interact with key industrial players in the Dutch construction sector.
  • A tailor-made post-master design program that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%).
  • On successfully completing the program, you will receive a certified and recognised degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree PDEng and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).
  • A salary of € 2.089 gross per month.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.
Work Hours:

40 hours per week


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