Research position on Monitoring Progress of the Circular Economy
University of Leuven, Sustainable Metals Processing and Recycling




The research group “Sustainability Assessments of Material life cycles” of the department of Materials Engineering and the Centre for Centre for Economics and Corporate Sustainability are looking for a highly motivated researcher to carry out research in the field of circular economy and environmental and economic impact assessments. The research position is embedded in the Sustainability Assessments of Material life cycles research group of the department of Materials Engineering of KU Leuven in collaboration with the Centre for Economics and Corporate Sustainability, and makes part of a larger research project called the Circular Economy Policy Research Centre funded by the Flemish Government. This Centre performs policy research in order to monitor, stimulate and contextualize the progress of the Flemish region towards a circular economy. It consists of eight interdisciplinary and complementary research lines and is a joint venture of KU Leuven, UAntwerpen, UGent and VITO.



The objective of the research is to gather data and develop indicators to monitor the progress towards a circular economy in Flanders. The goal of the monitor is to provide feedback to Flemish policy makers on the dynamics of the transition towards a circular economy. The work will consist of making an inventory of data sources and interacting with a broad range of stakeholders like the Flemish administration, industry federations and societal organizations, this more in particular in the fields of textile, other consumer goods and/or nutrition. The work will elaborate on a concept recently developed in our group in which the measurement of circular economy takes place via monitoring the fulfillment of societal needs with products and services. 
Besides you will prepare new (PhD) research projects elaborating on sustainability modelling frameworks, including MFA, consequential LCA, LCSA, economic modelling and use this models to study the effects of policy instruments.


  • You have a Master of Science in Engineering (Engineering Science or Bioscience Engineering, with strong interest in economics), in Business Economics or Business Engineering, or in Sciences.
  • You show a strong interest in sustainability issues and global challenges like circular economy as well as in policy design.
  • Specific expertise in one or more of the following areas is an asset: LCA, MFA, economic modelling, environmental LCC, data science
  • You have a scientific, critical attitude and you are interested in multidisciplinary research 
  • You have good communication and presentation skills, proficient in English. Knowledge of Dutch, both spoken and written, is considered a plus
  • You have an independent working style 
  • Experienceas a researcher is welcome but not mandatory


We offer a research position for one year in a very attractive international research environment, with an excellent track record in sustainable materials management and environmental economics. This research could lead to a PhD position within this field. The research work will be carried out within the faculty of Engineering Science (supervisor prof. Karel Van Acker) in Leuven and the faculty of Economics and Business (supervisor prof. Johan Eyckmans). The job will include collaboration and information exchange with researchers from different disciplines, industry and policy makers.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Karel Van Acker, tel.: +32 16 32 12 71, mail: or Mr. Luc Alaerts, tel.: +32 16 32 49 69, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than September 23, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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