PhD Student

on environmental assessment of Carbon Dioxide Removal CDR

Your tasks

You will perform environmental Life Cycle Assessment LCA of a wide range of options for Carbon Dioxide Removal CDR from the atmosphere. This includes both land and ocean based solutions such as direct air carbon capture and storage, soil carbon management, afforestation and ocean fertilization. You will evaluate expected technology development and consider this in prospective LCA, in which you will use the brightway and premise frameworks, linking integrated assessment models and LCA. Furthermore, you will develop approaches for regionalized LCA and apply these to CDR on a global level to take into account regional or even site-specific boundary conditions and potential constraints and to quantify impacts on human health and ecosystems – e.g. due to water and land use or emission of pollutants – in a regionalized way.
Key research questions include the quantification of the net-effectiveness of permanent CO2 removal from the atmosphere from an LCA perspective; how to compare different CDR options best from an LCA perspective; which co-benefits and adverse side-effects of CDR can be quantified from an LCA perspective; and which consequential effects will come along with the upscaling of CDR options and how would specific options interact. All tools and workflows will be open and fair. Your work will be part of a Horizon Europe project, in which you will have the chance to collaborate with leading Swiss, European and US research partners.

The successful PhD candidate will receive his/her PhD degree from ETH Zurich.

Your profile

  • Master degree in natural science, computer science, or engineering
  • Experience in Life Cycle Assessment
  • Being familiar with ecoinvent, brightway, and premise would be beneficial
  • Profound knowledge of English
  • Interest in open software development
  • Basic knowledge of Python
  • Independent working style
  • Communication skills to work well in a team

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

For further information, please contact Christian Bauer, email or phone +41 56 310 23 91.

Please submit your application online by 25 March 2023 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 4501-01).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Serdal Varol, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland