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Recycling and reuse of construction and building materials in the context of the circular economy

Eligibility: UK/EU

Award Details: No award (Self-funded) 

Duration: Full Time - 3 years 6 months fixed term

Application deadline: This opportunity will only remain open until a suitable candidate is identified- early application is therefore advised. Standard University research application closing dates apply.

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Professor Jean-Claude Morel to discuss this opportunity.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree with Coventry’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

The PhD has three main objectives.

1/To Set up a classifications with a generic typology. A framework and methodology would be required for typologies of components available to be matched against the proposed application; essential and desirable characteristics would have to be identified (and minimum performance standards quantified) in each case.

Smart technologies as BIM carry the potential to help by providing efficient tracking, storage and archiving of component properties, but further research is required in order to investigate the opportunities and constraints of the use of these technologies.

2/ Improve the deconstruction methods in order to increase the reuse and recycling of materials

Time and cost effective solutions allowing a good separation between the components is fundamental and has to be adapted to the specific typology of construction. 

3/ Furthermore, appropriate laboratory or onsite tests need to be done to allow a reuse/recycle of the component and comply with necessary health and safety tests. Existing tests for new structure need to be adapted to the deconstruction site where a reduce number of equipment is available.

About The Centre/Department

The Centre for Low Impact Buildings is seeking exceptional and motivated scholars who wish to engage with global, policy or industry related research that will demonstrate a measurable sustainable improvement in the performance of the built environment. Our key research themes are: building materials or low carbon technologies including their dynamic performance; new standards of building performance involving owners and occupiers; resilience and adaptation to climate change; or, pervasive data in sensoring and monitoring buildings including human computer interaction. It is our aim to improve the sustainability and performance of the built environment.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average, or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study 
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).


  • knowledge and/or experience in the subject

Eligibility & Application Procedure

Application procedure:

Application form and covering letter, plus a 2000-word proposal addressing the research theme.

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Professor Jean-Claude Morel (cc'ing for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity.


UK/EU applications only with the required entry requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.