Research Fellow (Postdoctoral Researcher) in Engineering for Climate Action and the Circular Economy

Post Status: Fixed-term Contract Full-time
Research Group / Department / School: School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Location: Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
Reports to: Dr John Gallagher
Salary: €39,132
Hours of Work: Full-time for 24 months from March 2022
Closing Date: 12 Noon (GMT), Tues 4th January 2022

Post Summary

The successful postdoctoral candidate will have shared research and proiect management responsibilities to support research and teaching activities relating to climate action and the circular economy. The candidate will (i) support a leading European project that is advancing new circular economy opportunities by producing biobased products from wastewater, and (ii) provide teaching and management support to launch a progressive postgraduate programme in engineering for climate action to upskilling the workforce to address the climate and biodiversity challenge.

Research: The successful candidate will specifically be responsible for quantifying the circularity performance in producing different wastewater bioproducts to support project deliverables within the Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) WOW! project. This will include undertaking a combination of material flow analysis (MFA), life cycle assessment and costing (LCA and LCA), and circularity measurement and assessment (CE) tasks to quantify the added value of carbon recovery and reuse from wastewater, especially focussed on activated carbon.

Project Management: The successful candidate will support managing the delivery and promotions for a newly launched HCI Postgraduate Diploma (PG.Dip.)) in Engineering for Climate Action. The candidate will support curriculum development for some of the following module topics: life cycle assessment and circular economy; engineering solutions for environmental protection; climate action mitigation and adaptation measures. In addition, the candidate will support a networking and marketing strategy for the programme.

Interreg NWE project WOW!

The 'Wider business Opportunities for raw materials from Waste water (sewage)' or WOW! project aims to make the transition to a more circular approach by matching supply and demand of resources from sewage. The project is exploring new market opportunities for raw materials from sewage (cellulose, PHA bioplastics and lipids) to help develop and realize new value chains.

The following activities will be part of the project: identify high potential value chains for raw materials from sewage; develop a decision support tool to support circular transitions for wastewater treatment plants; implement three WOW! resource recovery and upcycling demonstration plants; produce wastewater bioproducts (e.g. bioplastics, biofuel and bio-char); and create national policy action plans and an EU policy roadmap.

HCI Pg.Dip. in Engineering for Climate Action

This new Level 9 blended learning programme provides is positioned within the climate change - circular economy nexus. The multidisciplinary course will support climate action measures that support transport, buildings and industrial sectors to make informed and innovative actions.

The Engineering for Climate Action programme will attract talented graduate students and mobilise sustainability leaders to action within both the private and public sector, in Ireland and abroad, to deliver a low-carbon and resource-efficient society.

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

  • Manage and conduct research and project management activities as directed by the project coordinator
  • Collect and analyse data for the production of wastewater bioproducts
  • Conduct material flow analyses, life cycle assessments and/or circularity measurement and assessments
  • Engage with stakeholders and participate in outreach activities relating to research and project management activities
  • Collaborate with the other universities and researchers across North-West Europe
  • Engage with current and prospective students to support the delivery and growth of a postgraduate course

Funding Information

This position is part funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) programme.

This position is part funded through Pillar 3 (Innovation and Agility) of the Higher Education Authority's (HEA's) Human Capital Initiative (HCI).

Person Specification

Qualifications and experience

  • A PhD or equivalent in engineering, environmental science or other closely related fields
  • Excellent record of peer-reviewed scientific publication
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and to efficiently deliver results on time
  • Ability to work as part of a team in a multi-disciplinary environment

Knowledge & Experience (Essential & Desirable)

  • Experience of life cycle assessment, material flow analysis or circular economy
  • Experience in environmental engineering and/or climate action, with preferable knowledge of wastewater treatment systems
  • Evidence of productivity through research outputs

Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent record of peer-reviewed scientific publication
  • Experience in project management

Application Procedure

Applicants should submit a full Curriculum Vitae and the names and contact details of 2 referees (including email addresses), to: Dr John Gallagher at

Further Information for Applicants

URL Link to Area:
URL Link to Human Resources:

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

Trinity is Ireland's premier university, with a proud tradition of excellence stretching back to its foundation in 1592. The oldest university in Ireland, and one of the oldest in Europe, today Trinity sits at the intersection of the past and the future, and is ideally positioned as a major university in the European Union. Our 47-acre campus is located in the heart of Dublin city centre and is home to historic buildings dating from the University's establishment, as well as some of the most cutting-edge teaching and research facilities in Ireland. Students at Trinity benefit from a unique educational experience across a range of disciplines in our three faculties - Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences. The pursuit of excellence through research and scholarship is at the heart of a Trinity education, and our researchers have an outstanding publication record and strong record of grant success.

Trinity is the top ranked university in Ireland. Using the QS methodology 2021 we are ranked 101st in the world and using the Times Higher Education World University Rankings methodology we are 155th in the world in 2021.

Pension Entitlements

This is a pensionable position, and the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 will apply in relation to retirement age for pension purposes. Details of the relevant Pension Scheme will be provided to the successful applicant. Applicants should note that they will be required to complete a Pre-Employment Declaration to confirm whether or not they have previously availed of an Irish Public Service Scheme of incentivised early retirement or enhanced redundancy payment. Applicants will also be required to declare any entitlements to a Public Service pension benefit (in payment or preserved) from any other Irish Public Service employment. Applicants formerly employed by the Irish Public Service that may previously have availed of an Irish Public Service Scheme of Incentivised early retirement or enhanced redundancy payment should ensure that they are not precluded from re-engagement in the Irish Public Service under the terms of such Schemes. Such queries should be directed to an applicant's former Irish Public Service Employer in the first instance.

posted: 24 November 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.