Industrial PhD Scholarship in Circular Value Chain Design

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Deadline: 15th June 2020

An Industrial PhD student position (3 years) is available at the Section of Engineering Design and Product Development, within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark. The position is created in connection with the MADE FAST programme.

The project is supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD), Novo Nordisk and DTU, in the context of the MADE FAST programme. Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company, one of the largest insulin producers in the world and is dedicated to sustainable transition; they will be the main industrial partner on the project. The PhD student will work closely with the consortium partners and industrial stakeholders.

Responsibilities and tasks
The overall objective of this project is to design and develop a framework for value chain design of take-back programmes. With the Circular for Zero strategy, Novo Nordisk has set an ambition to have zero environmental impact and take responsibility for increasing recycling of used products. The main aim will be to provide a systematic way in which Novo Nordisk can assess the potential for and subsequently build, initiate and operate take-back programmes within a specific country/territorial context.

It is expected that each country/territory will have its own specific regulation, infrastructure, economics, market structure and logistical characteristics, for which this research will play a key role in eliciting.

The research project will be established as an action research project, interfacing directly with the pilots that are planned by Novo Nordisk within the project period.

More specifically, the PhD candidate is expected to: 

  • Model the interplay between the stakeholder-, regulatory-, market- and logistical- characteristics of the specific country/territory for a take-back programme.
  • Design a value chain configurator for a take-back programme, based on the model created.
  • Pilot the take-back value chain together with Novo Nordisk and identified key partners.
  • Create a scale-up scenario for fully operational take-back programme.

Strong collaboration with the researchers from MADE FAST, Novo Nordisk and industrial stakeholders is expected for the development, validation and implementation of the configurator. The candidate will publish his/her research results in international peer-reviewed journals and present at international conferences and seminars.

More information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Tim C. McAloone

You can read more about ongoing and previous projects of our research group at, and and about Department of Mechanical Engineering at

You can read more about Novo Nordisk and their sustainability strategy here



Industrial PhD Scholarship in Circular Value Chain Design

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