Exit Menu

Developing design principles and tools for a circular metal economy

Applications are invited for ONE full-time PhD scholarship funded by Brunel University London. The studentship is for a period of 3 years, starting April 1st 2021 or at a mutually agreed time after that.

The successful applicant will receive an annual stipend of £17285, plus payment of their full-time home/EU tuition fees. 

The Centre for Circular Metals is a new research centre aimed at helping the UK become the first country to fully recycle and reuse its metals, and aims to develop an understanding of how the country can best shift towards a carbon-neutral, circular economy by 2050.

Design plays a crucial role in the transition to a circular economy. This PhD project aims to produce circular product and business model design principles to enable business to conceive and develop circular metal solutions. These design principles will be integrated into a range of design tools and methods, and will consider aspects such as design for durability and long life, design for repair and maintenance, and design for disassembly, reuse and recycling. The research activities will include specifying circular design principles, developing, testing and refining these principles integrated in design tools, and applying them in industrial case studies.


A broad understanding and interest in design for sustainability and circular economy principles. Education and experience in engineering design or product design.

Applicants must be eligible for home/EU tuition fees.

How to apply

Please email your application comprising all of the documents listed below by Noon on 12 February, 2021 to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk and fabrizio.ceschin@brunel.ac.uk 

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • A one A4 page personal statement setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. your skills and experience);
  • Your degree transcripts and/or certificates;
  • Evidence of English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent), if needed;
  • Name and contact details for two academic referees.

Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Dr Fabrizio Ceschin - I am a Senior Lecturer in Design for Sustainability, coordinator of the Design for Sustainability research group and member of the Design for Sustainable Manufacturing research theme and the Human Centred Design research. I worked in the Design and Innovation for Sustainability research unit at Politecnico di Milano for six years before joining Brunel University London in 2012. I carry out research in the area of: - Design for Sustainability and Circular Economy, and in particular in developing principles, strategies and tools to innovate and design products, services, product-service systems and business models integrating environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability; - Co-design, and in particular on how to support multi-stakeholder and participatory design processes. Over the past years I have been involved in several international and national research projects, funded by the European Commission, EPSRC, Innovate UK, the British Council, SMEs and multinational enterprises. My research projects have resulted in more than 50 journal and conference publications and 4 books. I have been teaching in the area of design for sustainability over the past 14 years. I am currently teaching modules on Environmentally sensitive design (BA and BSc) and Sustainable design (MSc), and I am director of the MSc Integrated Product Design. I am member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, the Design Research Society and the British Industrial Design Association, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


I obtained a BSc and MSc equivalent degrees in Industrial Design awarded by Politecnico di Milano in Italy. In 2009 I started my doctoral research in design for sustainability at Politecnico di Milano, which was completed in 2012.

Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Professor David Harrison - David Harrison  is a  Professor of Design Research and lectures in Sustainable Design and Environmentally Sensitive Design. His  specialisms  include exploring technological solutions to environmental problems. He has a BSc in Engineering Science and a PhD in Robotics.  Employment -
  • BBC  1980-82 Engineer
  • BBC Education 1984-89 Researcher and Director
  • University of Portsmouth 1990-94 Senior Lecturer
  • Brunel University London 1994-2002 Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader
  • Brunel University London 2002- Chair in Design
  • Brunel University London 2005-06, 2008-2010 Subject Leader, Design