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Research Fellow in Complex Systems Modelling: Circular Economy for Post-Demolition Concrete

Are you an enthusiastic and motivated researcher with an interest in modelling circular economy complex systems? Do you have a highly numerate background and experience in modelling system-wide complexity? Are you experienced in data analytics coding in R or similar packages? Do you want to further advance your career in one of the UK’s leading research-intensive Universities, as part of a new cross-disciplinary centre for circular economy? 

The School of Civil Engineering are looking for a dynamic and dedicated individual to conduct research about assessing and modelling the circularity of post-demolition concrete as part of complex material flow systems. This role is part of a new UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre on Mineral-based Construction Materials. This exciting and influential collaboration with five other academic partners and a large group of external stakeholders, aims to support the transition to a Circular Economy for construction materials in infrastructure.   

Construction is one of the top 3 sectors of the UK economy. It is responsible for 8% of GDP and 10% of both UK employment and greenhouse gas emissions. Construction materials are by far the largest material resource flow globally. In the UK, we use them at a rate of more than half a million tonnes per day, and they comprise more than 60% of UK waste. Meanwhile, new infrastructure, as a proportion of total new construction, has doubled over the past 20 years, and the National Infrastructure & Construction Pipeline projects £600 billion investment in infrastructure over the next 10 years. Yet the construction industry faces serious challenges with accessing materials while also reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.

We are therefore collaborating with world-leading experts at the University College London, Universities of Loughborough, Sheffield and Lancaster, the British Geological Survey, and a network of national and international stakeholders from across the construction industry, to provide leadership in this sector.  Our research in support of a Circular Economy for built environment infrastructure in the UK will be undertaken by 15 multidisciplinary research groups, each anchored around a postdoctoral research project. Overall, the academic collaboration will involve at least 25 world-class academics, 15 postdoctoral researchers, and 30 doctoral students and 30 MSc students, representing more than 15 disciplines.  All our activities will be undertaken in interaction with a dynamic Stakeholder Interest Group of more than 100 members, representing the whole value chain and life cycle for construction materials. Our exciting programme of work will lead to actionable solutions that will create economic value from minimising use of energy and virgin raw materials, and progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The portfolio of activities will have a total budget of more than £8M.

Your role in conducting complex systems circularity assessment and optimisation for concrete obtained from demolition operations will be at the core of one of the 15 research groups in this prestigious collaboration.  Working as part of a team, including specialists in this field from the University of Leeds Circular Economy and Resources Recovery network (CERRY), the Neville Centre of Excellence in Cement and Concrete Engineering and industrial stakeholders, you will have primary responsibility for conducting a twenty-two month programme of work that has been designed in collaboration with the wider research teams. The academic research is expected to be followed by a one-year placement with an industrial partner, for practical implementation of the academic findings.


To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr Costas Velis, Lecturer in Resource Efficiency Systems, School of Civil Engineering

Email: C.Velis@leeds.ac.uk 


Please note: If you are not a British or Irish citizen, from 1 January 2021 you will require permission to work in the UK. This will normally be in the form of a visa but, if you are an EEA/Swiss citizen and resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, this may be your passport or status under the EU Settlement Scheme. 


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School/Institute:  School of Civil Engineering
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Working Time:  37.5 hours per week
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (22 months full-time due to grant funding)
Release Date:  Tuesday 15 December 2020
Closing Date:  Sunday 31 January 2021
Interview Date:  To be confirmed
Reference:  EPSCV1028
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  
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