PhD position Co-calcination towards near-zero waste and high-quality cementitious materials


The cement industry is one of the major CO2 emitting industries but aims to go towards net-zero CO2 by 2050. One of the most promising technologies to lower CO2 emissions is the use of high-quality supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). These can for instance be obtained through a calcination process. The metallurgical industries produce residues, which as such do not possess the desired properties for use as SCM, but which can be beneficiated by co-calcination with other constituents. This concept was for instance demonstrated in the H2020 project ReActiv for the co-calcination of bauxite residue with kaolinitic clay.
This PhD project aims to provide the fundamental insights necessary to take full control on the co-calcination process and develop an understanding of the interactions and metastable equilibria at play during co-calcination. Thereby, the PhD might pave the way towards new opportunities (read: new industrial residues to be valorized as cementitious materials) or identify new synergies.

Our offer
VITO and KU Leuven offer a PhD scholarship to the candidate for 4 years (2+2). The KU Leuven promotor for this PhD will be Prof. dr. Ruben Snellings.
At VITO, the PhD candidate will work within the Waste Recycling Technologies team under the supervision of Dr. ir. Arne Peys.

How to apply?
Applications should be submitted online and include a copy of your CV, diploma transcripts and a cover letter. You can apply for this PhD vacancy no later than March 29, 2023.
For more information, please contact Dr. ir. Arne Peys (


  • You hold a Master's degree cum laude in Geology, Materials Engineering, Metallurgy, Chemistry or other (applied) sciences.
  • You can work independently, as well as in a team.
  • You are motivated, creative, and are interested by both the academic and application aspects of material research.
  • You are fluent in English, both oral and written. For admission in the doctoral school at KU Leuven, scores from a TOEFL or similar test will be required.
  • You are eager to disseminate your research results by scientific publications or communications at conferences.