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R&D Life Cycle Assessment and Circularity in the built environment

  • Genk, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
R&D & Engineering

Job description

The Energy Policy, Innovation & Circularity team (EPIC) in EnergyVille/VITO provides science and fact-based advice in four expertise areas: Energy and Climate Policy Evaluation, Building Assessment and Circularity, Policy Innovation in the Built Environment and Societal Aspects of the Energy Transition. The EPIC team is part of EnergyVille, a collaboration between the Belgian research partners VITO, KU Leuven, IMEC and UHasselt.

We are looking for a driven Life Cycle Assessment and Circularity expert to support our interdisciplinary team. 
Within our experienced and motivated EPIC team, we conduct research in the field of life cycle assessment (LCA), circularity assessment and guidance, digital building passports, material and component flows and innovations within the built environment. The scale of each study can vary, from raw materials and building materials to the level of neighbourhoods and cities. We work for and with a variety of customers: companies and governments, both at local, regional, national and European level. But most important, we are a great team that has fun together! Does this sound good to you? Then you might just become our enthusiastic new colleague ...
Some of your tasks:

  • You will work as a researcher in consultancy assignments for policy makers and industry and in funded research projects (e.g. Horizon Europe).
  • Your projects will have a focus on the evaluation of the sustainability of building elements, buildings, districts, and circular strategies within the built environment.
  • You will contribute to a more sustainable built environment through innovation projects. Based on your research, new solutions can be developed, tested and brought to the market.
  • Together with colleagues you will monitor the project progress within the project team, and you will align with the external partners involved. You also will share the results with our customer.
  • You will ensure innovation in our field of expertise in terms of the further development of LCA and circularity methodologies, scenario analysis, digitization and data processing.
  • You will contribute to the cooperation within national and European consortia and you will expand your network with Belgian and European authorities and industrial partners.
  • You will share your knowledge, gain new knowledge and get the best out of yourself and your colleagues.
  • Finally, you will contribute to the acquisition of projects and the writing of offers and project proposals.

Job requirements

  • You hold a Master's degree in a relevant field. A PhD and/or experience with scientific publishing are a plus.
  • You have at least 2 years of demonstrable work experience in the field of LCA (preferably with knowledge of the Environmental Footprint method developed by the European Commission in this context) and/or circularity, experience in the construction environment is a plus.
  • You have at least 2 years of demonstrable work experience in the acquisition and execution of national or international projects.
  • Experience with structural engineering programs (e.g. REVIT, AutoCAD, Sketchup) are a beneficial.
  • You preferably have experience with advanced LCA software programs (f.i. SimaPro, GaBi, OpenLCA) and with data processing.
  • You are adept at communicating and writing clear, understandable reports in English.
  • Knowledge of Dutch is of added value, but not required.

Examples of projects

In the European funded research project DRASTIC, 23 partners from Europe develop and assess, 5 different demonstrators with different innovative designs, construction/renovation methods in different geographic zones and focusing on different building components, with distinct local environmental, social, and economic conditions. We are leading this project and our role is to develop product and building process and design guidelines including a multi-cycle LCA (M-LCA) and multi-cycle LCC (M-LCC) approach and circularity and sufficiency indicators, aligned with the EU Level(s) framework for sustainable buildings, to validate performance measurements.

The renovation of the conference building on the Joint Research Center in Geel (Belgium) offers a unique opportunity to put the New European Bauhaus Initiative into practice. It is also an opportunity to ensure that the European Green Deal results in a real construction project that is sustainable, attractive and inclusive, both intrinsically and in the way it is realised. Our team is closely involved in assessing the sustainability of the entire project via Level(s), a new European framework for examining the sustainability of buildings.

In the Demo-BLog project several functionalities of Digital Building Logbooks will be developed, demonstrated and evaluated. Our team focuses on the “material and multi-cycle circularity” functionality as a driver for enhanced reuse marketplaces. We will evaluate the potential contribution of the Digital Building Logbooks for circular buildings. Several Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life-cycle cost analyses (LCC) and circularity scans will be carried out.

The overall objective of the EUROFER Environmental Footprint project is to prepare the building blocks of potential future Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) on steel products. In anticipation of further legislative requirements making use of the Environmental Footprint method, EUROFER would like to further investigate the building blocks of a potential steel specific PEFCR and future LCA data needs.


  • You have real impact as you look for innovative solutions for today's and tomorrow’s challenges.
  • You are supported by helpful and fun colleagues that are eager to share their expertise in the field.
  • You will be part of an organization where we show integrity and always strive for mutual benefit in close cooperation with all parties involved.
  • VITO/EnergyVille is an international organisation: 40 different nationalities work with us. Our working language is English.
  • We work ‘activity based’: our activities determine our workplace. On average we meet 2 days a week in our EnergyVille office in Genk. Hybrid work arrangements and/or working in a satellite office in Antwerp-Berchem, Ghent, Ostend or Mol is possible.
  • You will learn life-long and develop your skills further by using the newest of the latest technologies that you can test on the market yourself.
  • We consider work-life balance to be of paramount importance at VITO. We are open to discuss your needs at any time and we have a flexible approach to finding solutions.

Join us in reshaping the future of the built environment!