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Modelling the Transition towards Industrial Decarbonisation

The decarbonisation of the energy-intensive basic material sector implies that conventional fossil-based production processes must be phased-out. Enhanced circularity, efficient material use, a switch towards low-emission energy carriers or carbon capture technologies can play an important role in meeting future basic material demand. The challenges are not only technical. Industrial transition requires a sound business model for implementing novel technologies in Europe while facing competition with conventional basic material producers on the global commodity markets. Furthermore, equipment and processes in the basic material sector can be characterised by their long design life. Equipment installed over the next decade could still be in operation by 2050. Therefore, investments in conventional carbon-intensive technologies jeopardise the EU targets to become a net-zero emission economy until 2050.
This research project explores how the basic material sector can transition towards net-zero emissions by developing quantitative evaluation methods to study the framework conditions for future industrial investments. Previous work done at the IIT shows the need for new approaches to model the industrial transition, and it will be the candidate’s task to address these research needs.
The candidate will revise existing solutions and propose a model to study the industrial transition and integrate it into an existing energy model. This model shall allow the candidate to show how technological advances, the availability of low-emission energy markets and industrial policies may affect the business case for climate-friendly basic material production. Possible results are highly relevant for evaluating the transition of energy systems and quantifying future hydrogen demand scenarios on a national and European level.


We look for highly motivated candidates with an excellent background in Engineering, Physics, or Economics (with a Master degree or equivalent), an outstanding academic record, capable of working autonomously and as part of a team. Some experience with algebraic modelling languages, Matlab or Python are beneficial, as well as knowledge of economic and data analysis, optimisation, energy and industrial systems. The candidate must be fluent in English and is expected to contribute to scientific publications in international journals. Knowledge of Spanish is recommended, given that it´s the working language of the institute.

What do we offer?

A full-time contract for developing a doctoral thesis within 3 years. We offer a competitive, full-time contract, including public health insurance, partial tuition waiver, and other benefits. Candidates will work in an international, fun, and stimulating environment.
The candidate will also benefit from opportunities to attend international academic conferences, enjoy research stays at prestigious international centres, and access to an extensive international research network, industry connections, and policy audience.
We welcome applications from university students and candidates looking for a career change.


Curriculum vitae, academic record, cover letter and two recommendation letters