PhD project: Reuse of building components – documentation of properties by non-destructive testing

torsdag 15 apr 21

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Frist 15. juni 2021
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DTU Civil Engineering is inviting applications for a 3-year PhD position starting October 2021. The overall aim of the project is to develop non-destructive test (NDT) methods to document the technical properties of building elements considered for reuse.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The PhD project is part of a Grand Solution project, BusinessReuse - Enabling business by reuse of basic building components, with eight partners from universities and industry. The project supports the transition of the construction sector to a Circular Economy and is jointly funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark and Realdania. A key challenge in choosing to reuse building components in a building project today is the major barrier constituted by lack of standards, certification and documentation systems for these materials, thus entailing significant documentation burden and economic risk for the building owner, when choosing these components in a building project. The consortium in the BusinessReuse project will overcome this barrier by developing the much needed systems and methods to equate the choice of reused building components to new components and following enable business based on reuse.

The PhD project will focus on development of NDT with the purpose of documenting the properties of elements made from concrete, steel or wood in relation to reuse. The major research questions are: (1) Which NDT techniques can be combined to determine the properties of building components in relation to the new use? (2) Can we obtain a sufficiently detailed data interpretation for quantifying and documenting the properties? (3) Are the chosen methods applicable in practice at demolitions sites? Experimental work will be conducted ranging from laboratory scale to full scale to document the use of non-destructive testing. The supervisor team is from DTU Civil Engineering and the collaboration with the different project partners in BuildingReuse ensures continuous linkage between research and practical issues in regards to reuse of building components.

The candidate should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) in civil engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree. Further, the candidate should have deep knowledge on durability and decay mechanisms of construction materials and be experienced in planning and conducting experimental work. Experience in handling of large data sets and/or programming is requested. Knowledge within non-destructive testing or geophysical measurements is an advantage. 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,

You can read more about DTU Civil Engineering at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

 Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 June 2021 (Danish 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

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your 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.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.