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PhD Position 1: Turning wind blade waste into circular building materials

PhD Position 1: Turning wind blade waste into circular building materials

Are you eager to work on making the world a better place? This PhD position aims at solving two issues at once, by finding solutions to the alarming amount of wind blade waste in the world and also improving the circularity and sustainability of cementitious building materials.
Irène Curie Fellowship
Built Environment
Date off
Reference number

Job description

Windmill blade waste is a growing concern worldwide, as it set to account for more than 40 million tons in 2050. Currently, the recycling options are limited, with low-grade applications or incineration/landfill, because of the complex composition of this waste. However, this polymer composite waste has value due to mineral and polymeric fibers (e.g. glass, carbon, aramid), indicating that they could be cost-effective in producing building materials for high-end applications. The main objective of this project is to develop cementitious products, such as concrete, using various types of windmill blade waste, in collaboration with industries and universities in Europe, within the Horizon 2020 EU project “Blades2Build”.

The candidate will join the Building Materials group which contains 25 PhDs, 1 postdoc, 3 assistant professors, 1 associate professor, and 2 full professors. This research group works on new, sustainable, and circular building materials containing or synthesized from secondary raw materials with good chemical, physical and aesthetic properties, and added functionalities. Examples are natural fibers, fly ashes, nano-silica, aerogels, slags or recycled aggregates. Functionalities, including fire resistance, air purification, self-cleaning, high performance, and hydrophobicity, are investigated and developed for these building materials. Moreover, durability and sustainability, such as the degradation of, or leaching from, building materials when exposed to aggressive service environments, are studied. The investigations are carried out based on experimental observations and modeling.

The research group possesses a well-equipped, state-of-the-art building material laboratory for physical/chemical/mechanical/environmental treatment and testing, and has access to the structural design laboratory at the same department, and shares facilities with the sister Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. The group has close contacts with the building material industry and frequently cooperating with other researchers, both domestic and international.

Job requirements

  • A master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Engineering (civil, mechanical…).
  • Knowledge about cementitious materials, fiber-reinforced polymer and circularity.
  • Experience with material processing and characterization.
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interest in collaborating with international industrial partners.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Conditions of employment

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 27 (min. €2,541 max. €3,247).
  • 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.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact Prof. Brouwers, e-mail: h.j.h.brouwers[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services, e-mail HRServices.BE[at]

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We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.