Positions available

Funded research positions are available for domestic masters (Canadian and PR) and domestic and international PhD students. Send your resume, a statement of interest and qualifications, including academic research experience, indicating how it is directly relevant to one of the open topic areas:

Research topics (updated January 2023)

  • Responsible sourcing of raw materials like steel, aluminum, copper and tungsten, including approaches like supply chain analysis and management systems standards. For example, on how emerging sustainability standards for metals. See for example my early article or work available at https://www.irtc-conference.org/program/ . Qualifications: managment and technical/engineering, auditing, certification. Social and natural sciences.

  • Sustainablility Assessment Lab. The Waterloo Industrial Ecology Group, supports robust measurement of sustainability performance of technologies, projects, and organizations. We provide tools, data and skilled sustainability analysis to industry partners and academic research teams. This one-year RA position supports three services: 1) State-of-the-art software and high-quality databases that power methods like product life cycle assessment (LCA), material flow analysis (MFA), corporate greenhouse gas protocol (GHGP) accounting, project techno-economic analysis (TEA) and supply-chain social hotspots assessment. 2) Guidance, training and “how-to” manuals, available online or onsite, for researchers and industry partners. 3) A growing library of interdisciplinary applied and educational case studies that demonstrate environmental, social and sustainability assessment.

  • Nickel is important to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and stationary power; a sixfold increase in metal demand is forecast by 2030. Nickel has been identified by Canada as one of six priority critical minerals. We envision an industrial system that takes raw nickel inputs from any variety of sustainable sources; uses clean energy, hydrogen and clean processes; and produces much-needed metal precursors needed for the energy transition. This position is one of five PhD students on a larger project to advance metallurgical technology for production of nickel from feedstock inputs including primary ores (sulfidic and laterite oxides), black mass from battery recycling, and scrap metal alloys. Work includes laboratory research, computer simulation and industrial partner participation. Analysis and project design considers sustainability dimensions, including environmental, social, economic, governance and community stakeholders. Qualifications: chemical or metallurgical engineering. Research: LCA of emerging technology, Supply chain modelling, Material flow analysis, Raw material criticality.

  • Smelter project: Smelters and refineries are central nodes in both primary production and recycled metal value chains. We visualise a database that supports materials flow analysis, business analytics and metallurgical engineering knowledge to characterize metal processing, recycling capacity, and business capability -- all in support of ESG objectives and a circular economy for metals. Interest is on materials to support clean energy technologies and sustainable development (Chinese language desirable.) See for example our paper on "Nickel supply: primary metallurgical processing capacity does not satisfy changing demand." available at https://www.irtc-conference.org/program/ 

  • Healthcare sustainability assessment of products, services or organisations. For example, life cycle assessment of medical devices or disposables. The aim is to support sustainability of this huge and impactful industry. See for example our 2018 research review in JIE or our strategy article on sustainable healthcare.

The Master of Environmental Studies (MES) in Sustainability Management is a full-time program with six courses and a thesis. Pursued on a year-round basis, the degree is typically completed in 6 terms (2-years).

  • Domestics master’s receive approximately $28,000 across the two years of study, based on contributions by the student made to undergraduate teaching or to funded research.

The PhD in Sustainability Management is offered by our School. The PhD typically takes at least four years, and requires four courses, a qualifying examination, professional development seminars and a full research thesis (equivalent to at least three publishable journal articles).

Tuition fees are substantial and are posted at https://uwaterloo.ca/finance/student-financial-services/tuition-fee-schedules. Although the DDI funding package is generous, it is not sufficient to support a student (living and studying) in Waterloo, so you would need to access additional funds.