Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-35 "Multi-functional urban pavement to reduce climate change and contribute to a circular economy"

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    EngineeringCivil engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Nantes
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND


Introduction and problem statement

Pavements have in the last 75 years only been designed for one function, typically to carry cars and trucks for roads and streets, or to function as sidewalks for bicycles and pedestrians. By 2050 it is projected that nearly 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas . Approximately 25 to 40% of the surface area of modern cities and their suburbs is pavement. There is increasing recognition that to provide better human quality of life and to respond to climate change and improve climate resilience, streets and other paved areas must be designed for multiple functions. Climate change is already subjecting cities to higher temperatures that are harmful to vulnerable populations and impact human quality of life, and many cities will have increasingly intense storms that cause fatalities and damage from flooding. Urban noise is an ever-present human stressor that is linked to poor health and shorter lives.

Energy absorption and emission as heat from pavement, fast runoff of stormwater from impermeable pavement, and tire/pavement interaction are significant contributors to each of these important problems. The development and implementation of multi-functional pavements to address them is a critical part of the solutions. The subjects summarized here are steps in the arc of research to implementation of multi-functional pavements to improve urban quality of life, reduce climate change, improve resilience to climate change, and contribute to a circular economy.

Use contexts and goals

Context is critical for each of the elements of the potential doctoral thesis. The goals of reducing climate change and contributing to the circular economy interact with each other through reuse of pavement materials, which will often also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These will depend on locally available materials, present in existing infrastructure and from pavement materials industries. Context of desirable pavement characteristics will consider modes of transportation, vehicle speeds (for vehicle/pavement noise and durability), and climate modeling of current and future temperature environments and storm event intensities.

A framework for identification of goals for pavements for different contexts and prioritization of functionalities has been roughly developed and should be enhanced as a first step in this thesis.

Materials development and assessment

To address these different challenges, the primary objective of the PhD project is to develop a next generation of wearing course materials for urban pavements, considering functionalities of high permeability, low tire/pavement noise emissions, good thermal comfort (high albedo and potential evaporative cooling if permeable), and low rolling resistance, and at the same time have a high durability and low environmental impact for the life cycle of the pavement feature. The starting point for designing theses mixes will be using small aggregate size (0/4 mm or 0/6 mm) permeable open graded mixes for slowing stormwater runoff and reducing tire/pavement noise, and enhancement of thermal properties (albedo, thermal conductivity, heat capacity) , associated with a bio-based clear binder (to reduce life cycle environmental impacts and reusability), to improve albedo. A large-scale laboratory test program, based on testing of acoustic and mechanical performance, permeability, rolling resistance and albedo properties will be conducted, to evaluate the influence of different design parameters on the mix properties, and propose materials with optimized properties for different use cases. Improvement of some properties using fibers (from plant/wood sources, wastes from other product systems) or other additives (tire rubber) to improve durability may also be considered.

Both standard and more advanced material test will be used in the study. Acoustic properties will be measured using impedance tube tests (absorption) and bench testing of air permeability and macrotexture (high and low frequency noise) ; durability of the materials will be assessed using the T2R tests (developed by IFSTTAR) for resistance to raveling of asphalt mixes. Thermal properties will also be evaluated (thermal conductivity, specific heat in the laboratory, albedo on small outside sections). New tests for evaluating rolling resistance on laboratory specimens will also be used. Improvement of some of the test methods may be necessary.

The mixes will be preliminarily assessed for life cycle cost (LCCA) and environmental impacts (LCA) based on their constituents, resultant mix design proportions, mixing and construction requirements, estimated lives, and end-of-life opportunities for reuse.

In a second phase, different use cases, for different types of traffic (heavy traffic , low traffic street, parking lot, bicycle or pedestrian paths) will be considered, and appropriate material and pavement structure designs will be proposed. For some specific use cases, pilot scale trials will be considered, to validate the material properties in real full-scale conditions.

The mitigation of the localized heat island phenomenon will be assessed on a full scale test site designed by Eiffage Route in Hyeres (southern France). The new mix(es) will be tested in 100 m square sections with thermal monitoring instrumentation and a watering system. The instrumentation results will be used with human thermal comfort models to measure the performance of the mix(es) with and without the evaporative cooling effect of water being applied and compared with a conventional reference mix."

The results of this thesis will be used in future doctoral research as inputs to urban thermal environment modeling (WRF, other models) and urban hydrological models (SWMM, other models) for case studies of different cities, alternative urban development, and climate change scenarios. The approach used in this thesis will serve as a basis for development of additional materials using other binders, reused materials, to provide locally viable solutions for different regions of the world. This reserach could lead to further collaborations between Gustave Eiffel University and UC Davis.

More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).

Selection process

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    ENGLISH: Excellent
    FRENCH: Basic


  • Specific skills in materials development and testing, life cycle assessment, life cycle cost analysis, use of weather modeling results.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Specific Requirements

International mobility : a secondment at UC Davis (USA). For more information, contact the PhD thesis supervisor.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
Campus Nantes Allée des Ponts et Chaussées

EURAXESS offer ID: 716459


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