Required languages:


Website Ghent University

Job description
The Sustainable Systems Engineering (STEN) group of Ghent University welcomes a candidate for a full time PhD position on environmental sustainability assessments of pharmaceutical manufacturing. The PhD student will be appointed within the framework of the European project PharmEco (Advancing Safe and Sustainable by design Practices in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing), involving academia, research institutes, pharmaceutical industry and consultancy.

The project aims to scale up and demonstrate sustainable processes for industrial (bio)manufacturing and decontamination, by integrating environmentally friendly technologies and processes. However, given the complexity of production processes, there is still a knowledge gap on the environmental impact of, for example, pharmaceutical biomanufacturing. Moreover, the shift from current technologies to innovative (bio)pharmaceutical processes and technologies might also induce changes in associated supply chains or waste treatment processes. This indicates the need for environmental sustainability assessments of the innovations, including both downstream and upstream processes.

Within PharmEco, the aim is to assess the sustainability performance of the processes and technologies developed and demonstrated in the different work packages. More specifically, within your PhD, you will assess the environmental sustainability of the innovative biomanufacturing and decontamination technologies. Several sub-objectives have been identified:

  • Creating flow diagrams to identify the different (sub)processes, collecting data and constructing mass and energy balances for each technology
  • Evaluation of the environmental performance by life cycle assessment
  • Benchmarking the impact results of the innovative solutions with currently applied technologies
  • Conducting prospective assessments to estimate the environmental sustainability of the innovations at full implementation

In this PhD position, you will work in close collaboration with other STEN colleagues at Ghent University and the PharmEco consortium, in particular with the research institutes CPI and RISE and several pharmaceutical companies. Part of the work can be done via teleworking. The scientific findings should lead to publications in international peer reviewed journals and should be presented at international conferences.

The start date is planned at October 1st 2024. The PhD duration is four years.

Job Profile

Candidates are expected to have a background in engineering and/or an affinity for sustainability assessment methods such as life cycle assessment. Affinity with pharmaceutical manufacturing or chemical processes is also relevant. We are looking for candidates with a critical and analytical attitude and a sense of initiative.

Other profile requirements:

  • You hold a master’s degree in environmental engineering, bioscience engineering, chemical engineering, environmental technology, environmental science, or equivalent.
  • The degree requirements must be met at the start of the appointment;
  • You have an interest in scientific research;
  • You can operate both independently and in a multidisciplinary team;
  • You have organisational/managerial skills and are highly motivated;
  • You have good writing and presentation skills;
  • You master the English language, written and orally, in an academic context;
  • Having experience with quantitative and/or qualitative research is essential;

Additional requirements:

  • You have experience with LCA software such as SimaPro, openLCA, GaBi, etc.;
  • You have experience with the development and comparison of different value chain scenarios;

How to apply

Apply by sending ultimately June 17th an email to [email protected] as follows:

  • Mention in subject line: “PharmEco – Application name surname”.
  • Attach into 1 single pdf file:
    • Item 1: Cover letter
    • Item 2: CV
    • Item 3: contact details of 1 or 2 reference persons.
    • Item 4:  ‘Diploma’ items, e.g. an overview of your study results, transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.

Note that the maximum file size is 10 MB.

Selection procedure:

1. Preselection based on the provided documents.

2. Selection based on interviews.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

For more information about the content of this position, please contact [email protected].

To apply for this job please visit

©2024 Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation e.V. | Contact Us | Legal Info


If you would like to get in touch with us, please feel free to send us a message. Thank you very much in advance.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Join our newsletter and stay up-to-date on everything happening in the life cycle community! We'll send you 3-4 newsletters per year
Subscribe Now!

Get the latest Life Cycle Jobs per Mail!

Subscribe now to get a regular update on the most recent life cycle jobs posted!
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account