PhD project: Waste Fishing Nets as Reinforcement of Concrete in Arctic Climate

fredag 28 sep 18

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Frist 1. december 2018
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DTU Civil Engineering is inviting applications for a 3-year PhD position starting January 2019, jointly funded by EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Program and DTU Civil Engineering. The study is related to characterization and use of waste fishing nets and ropes as reinforcement in concrete focusing geographically on use in remote Arctic regions.
Why this research is needed
Plastic in the marine environment is a globally recognized environmental issue, with far reaching economic, aesthetic, and environmental consequences. One particular troublesome fraction of marine litter is discarded fishing gear. Increasing levels of marine litter is particularly pertinent to the Arctic region, and the EU financed Blue Circular Economy project, under which the PhD project is conducted, focuses on adding value to waste fishing nets and ropes by identifying options for use as secondary resources. It is important to the environment that waste fishing nets are not discarded at sea. However, when the waste fishing nets are brought to land, they are piling up in the landfills. In Greenland for example, different types of waste fishing nets and ropes (nylon, PE and PP) go to landfill. At the same time, Greenland has scarcity in local resources for production of construction materials. On basis of our previous research, a future use for waste fishing nets could be fiber reinforcement of concrete. There are, however, major questions regarding the material characteristics and especially the durability of the waste fishing nets and ropes, which needs to be addressed before such use can be recommended.

Project description
This project focuses on answering these questions by investigating:

(I) The durability of different types of waste fishing nets and especially the degradation rate while stored in landfills under Arctic climate
(II) The variety of major important material characteristics, such as tensile strength and Youngs modulus, for the waste fishing nets of the major types sampled in landfills
(III) How the same characteristics depend on low temperature and relative humidity
(IV) The use of different waste fishing nets reinforcement in concrete with special focus on freeze-thaw resistance
(V) Reuse of the waste fishing net fiber reinforced concrete at the structures end of life
The candidate should have a master's degree in civil engineering, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree. Further desirable qualifications are work experience in an academic context, interest in material science and circular economy. A good command of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential. The candidate is expected to be self-motivated and to publish the project results in international peer-reviewed journals.
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 Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Section for Materials and Durability.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized 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 characterized 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.

The main workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus, but the project will require travel and exchange in Greenland and at relevant Arctic universities.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Lisbeth M. Ottosen,
Please submit your online application no later than 1 December 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in 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.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
DTU Civil Engineering develops and utilizes science and technical knowledge for the benefit of society through a sustainable development of construction and the built environment. As part of a strong university, the department provides research, study programmes, innovation and research-based consultancy of the highest quality in civil engineering. The Department develops new knowledge and solutions for the challenges facing the construction industry based on classic disciplines of building research, as well as the monitoring and decoding of physical phenomena,—we combine theory and practice.
DTU Civil Engineering has a special role in researching, educating and developing new construction engineering solutions for Arctic settings, for the benefit of society in both Denmark and Greenland. The department has a scientific staff of about 80 persons, 60 PhD students, and a technical/administrative support staff of about 50 persons.
DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.