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PhD candidate position in the Development of waste-based cement-free binder

Open application for a doctoral candidate in Materials Engineering
The doctoral candidate position is available in the Civil Engineering faculty, department – Institute of Building Materials. Applicants interested in other research topics related to cement-based materials, geopolymers, lightweight composites, and nano additives are also welcome to apply.

Research topic description
With rapid urbanization and large-scale construction, the lack of natural resources is increasingly felt, e.g. natural sand and gravel. Also, due to the lack of raw materials, cement production is difficult to meet the growing construction needs. However, the environmental problems caused by cement production are increasing. Cement production uses a lot of energy. The production of one ton of cement releases approximately 1 ton of greenhouse gas CO2 into the environment. According to statistics, worldwide, cement production is responsible for 11-12% of the amount of CO2 emitted into the environment. Despite the trends in the growth of construction volumes, the EU directives envisage a significant reduction of construction costs – up to 90% in the 2050s. Therefore, it is relevant to develop binders characterized by low energy consumption and cost, thus allowing to complete abandon the use of polluting Portland cement. One of the most promising directions is the development of alkali-activated binders. Such a binder is characterized by low cost, low energy consumption (up to 15% of the energy consumption of cement production), high strength (20-40 MPa), resistance to corrosion, low shrinkage, etc. In the composition of such binders, it is possible to use various difficult-to-utilize wastes (ashes from biofuel combustion, slags, construction and demolition waste, fertilizer production waste). Mainly, researchers aim to apply pozzolanic materials and waste materials for binder development, using concentrated alkali solutions and applying a temperature (100°C) curing mode. However, the distribution of such pozzolanic waste in the world is very uneven. Recently, great efforts have been made to create cementless binders using weaker alkalis and wastes that do not have pozzolanic properties. This direction of research is innovative and promising, because the cementless binders being developed will have a low negative impact on the environment, and practically no non-renewable natural resources will be used in their composition.

The selected candidate will work on the PhD thesis under the supervision of dr. Ina Pundienė. The successful applicant will have to attend scientific conferences, meetings and internships at other universities.

• Required background: Master degree diploma.
• Expected skills and knowledge: Construction material production, properties, research methods.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

For more information
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. The position may not be opened if no qualified candidate is found. Additional information regarding the post may be obtained from dr. Ina Pundienė , e-mail:

Programme structure

The PhD programme consists of:
· Independent research under supervision;
· Courses for PhD students (approximately 30 ECTS credits);
· Participation in research networks, including placements at other, primarily foreign, research institutions;
· Teaching or another form of knowledge dissemination, which is related to the PhD topic when possible;
· The completion of a PhD thesis.

Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Studies commence
1 Nov 2023

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Studies commence
1 Nov 2023

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States