Industrial PhD scholarship within MADE FAST – Circular Value Chain Design at Novo Nordisk

tirsdag 05 maj 20

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Frist 15. juni 2020
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An Industrial PhD student position (3 years) is available at the Section of Engineering Design and Product Development, within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark. The position is created in connection with the MADE FAST programme.

The project is supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD), Novo Nordisk and DTU, in the context of the MADE FAST programme. Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company, one of the largest insulin producers in the world and is dedicated to sustainable transition; they will be the main industrial partner on the project. The PhD student will work closely with the consortium partners and industrial stakeholders.

Responsibilities and tasks
The overall objective of this project is to design and develop a framework for value chain design of take-back programmes. With the Circular for Zero strategy, Novo Nordisk has set an ambition to have zero environmental impact and take responsibility for increasing recycling of used products. The main aim will be to provide a systematic way in which Novo Nordisk can assess the potential for and subsequently build, initiate and operate take-back programmes within a specific country/territorial context.

It is expected that each country/territory will have its own specific regulation, infrastructure, economics, market structure and logistical characteristics, for which this research will play a key role in eliciting.

The research project will be established as an action research project, interfacing directly with the pilots that are planned by Novo Nordisk within the project period.

More specifically, the PhD candidate is expected to:

  • Model the interplay between the stakeholder-, regulatory-, market- and logistical- characteristics of the specific country/territory for a take-back programme.
  • Design a value chain configurator for a take-back programme, based on the model created.
  • Pilot the take-back value chain together with Novo Nordisk and identified key partners.
  • Create a scale-up scenario for fully operational take-back programme.
Strong collaboration with the researchers from MADE FAST, Novo Nordisk and industrial stakeholders is expected for the development, validation and implementation of the configurator. The candidate will publish his/her research results in international peer-reviewed journals and present at international conferences and seminars.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

The applicant should be highly motivated and hold a master’s degree, preferably within the areas of Mechanical Engineering, Management Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development, Environmental Engineering or related areas.

Good command of written and spoken English is required. In addition, experience with manufacturing companies and proven knowledge of the fields of engineering design & product development, and sustainability will be weighted highly amongst candidates.

Further qualifications
  • Candidate must have knowledge of Circular Economy strategies and value chain design.
  • Candidate must have knowledge in at least two of the following six fields: sustainability assessment, trade-off analysis, strategic management, take-back programmes, project management and modelling methods.
  • Candidate must be in the first four years of his/her research career.
  • Excellent early achievement track record (publications, awards, conference presentations, etc.).
  • Strong work ethics and motivation to succeed within a competitive research field.
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills.
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Tim C. McAloone, Associate Professor Daniela C. A. Pigosso, and the relevant PhD school at DTU.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognised for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterised by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about
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Further information
*Further information may be obtained from Professor Tim C. McAloone,

You can read more about ongoing and previous projects of our research group at, and and about Department of Mechanical Engineering at

You can read more about Novo Nordisk and their sustainable business commitment here:

Please submit your online application no later than 15 June 2020 (23:59 local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons. More information can be found here

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