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Life cycle assessment and circular economy for built environment

We are recruiting new Doctoral Researchers to our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships starting 1 October 2023. Applications are invited for the project Life cycle assessment and circular economy for built environment


Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of approximately £19,668, including inner London weighting, plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees for a period of 42 months (3.5 years).

You should be eligible for home (UK) tuition fees there are a very limited number (no more than three) of studentships available to overseas applicants, including EU nationals, who meet the academic entry criteria including English Language proficiency.

You will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Department of Civil Engineering research and PhD programmes | Brunel University London

The Project

Information about the research projects Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has become the standard for environmental performance assessment of the built environment. Currently, a clear and commonly accepted definition is lacking, making a quantitative assessment difficult for the built environment. This project aims to structure, harmonize, and combine LCA and Circular Economy (CE) for the application of new buildings and transportation systems. The methodological approach is based on a structured literature review which is complemented by an analysis of real case studies. The application of common CE strategies to these case studies and assessments through LCA will allow reliable quantification of the environmental benefits and provide guidance for practitioners.

The project aims to improve the resource efficiency of material circularity in the built environment that is currently hampered by five divides that illustrate fragmentation and a lack of holistic perspective in the value chain; information, materials, actors, analytics, and market/services. Through a co-creative research design that engages key actors in the value chain, methods to assess gains of improve resource-efficiency of solutions are developed and prototypes are proposed for optimizing the life cycle-wide management for sustainable cities. Project outcomes will inform strategies for the safe and sustainable built environment.

Please contact Dr Muhammad Shafique at for an informal discussion about the studentships.


Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, Physics or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

Skills and Experience

Applicants will be required to demonstrate their background in civil and environmental engineering.

Skills in life-cycle assessment, climate change models, infrastructure network modelling and GIS will be an advantage. Proficiency in English is required (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, or a BSc/MSc in UK).

You should be highly motivated, able to work independently as well as in a team, collaborate with others and have good communication skills.

How to apply

There are two stages of the application:

1.Applicants must submit the pre-application form via the following link by 16.00 on Friday 26th May 2023.

2.If you are shortlisted for the interview, you will be asked to email the following documentation in a single PDF file to within 24hrs.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your Undergraduate degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) essential;
  • Your Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) if applicable;
  • Your valid English Language qualification of IELTS 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in each section) or equivalent, if applicable;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.

Applicants should therefore ensure that they have all of this information in case they are shortlisted.

Interviews will take place in June 2023.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Muhammad Shafique - Dr. Muhammad Shafique is currently a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences at Brunel University London, Since May 2022. Prior to this, he was a Postdoc fellow in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the City University of Hong Kong and M.S in Smart City and Construction Engineering from the University of Science and Technology, Korea. Dr. Shafique’s research uses life cycle assessment, circular economy, and scenario modeling to identify the environmental problems of emerging products and systems. Historically, our society has taken a reactionary approach to the environment. By proactively understanding the environmental issues of technologies that are still under development, we can identify a greater number of optimal options and innovative solutions to avoid or reduce negative consequences. Shafique works on interdisciplinary topics including sustainable construction and transportation systems, green buildings, building information modeling (BIM), carbon-neutrality, sustainable design of energy systems, advanced fuels, sustainable and smart materials, machine learning, energy, environment & economics nexus, and climate change adaptation. One of his core areas of work includes developing an integrated modeling approach based on life cycle assessment and circular economy for sustainable construction and urban mobility. Looking forward, Dr. Shafique is determined to fight against climate change and reduce the carbon footprint of the civil and transportation industry as the key considerations while enabling a high level of sustainability and well-being for users. Shafique is always looking for talented and motivated Ph.D. students as well as new collaborators for research projects. To date, Dr. Shafique has published more than 40 papers in high-impact journals. In addition, Dr. Shafique is a peer reviewer for over 30 high-impact factor journals. Dr. Shafique is the Associate Editor of Frontiers in Energy Research; Frontiers in Sustainability and an Editorial Board Member of the Land, Buildings and Smart Cities (MDPI) journal. Shafique is at the top 2% most highly cited scientists for 2021and 2022 according to the Elsevier/Stanford list.

Related Research Group(s)

Design for Sustainability

Design for Sustainability - We focus on developing the theory and practice required to design solutions that foster environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability in areas ranging from materials and manufacturing to products, services, business models, bottom-up initiatives and socio-technical systems.