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MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD22-12: Innovative pavement biobinder development and ageing resistance

11 Oct 2022

Job Information

Université Gustave Eiffel
Research Field
Engineering » Other
Engineering » Civil engineering
Engineering » Materials engineering
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

The Transportation Infrastructure construction sector is aware of its environmental footprint and is thus continuously moving towards more environmentally friendly technologies. Concerning asphaltic pavement, it is necessary to find cost effective solutions for a circular post-fossil fuel society that could promote the wide-spread use of alternative bitumen from renewable raw materials that do not interfere with the food industry, as well as polymer as main ingredients of asphalt mixtures. This could lead towards energy efficient long-lasting road pavement built with the lowest amount possible of non-recycled materials and thus, minimize the footprint of a road infrastructure significantly.

In this context, the PhD project proposes to explore some routes related to the organic matrix which could be used to bind mineral aggregate skeleton (alternative to bituminous mix). It is proposed to work first on finding new solutions to replace bitumen, secondly to work on smarter accelerated ageing procedures for innovative organic pavement materials.

The project is based on a original European partnership composed of University Gustave Eiffel, University of Palermo, Technical University of Wien and Eiffage. The project deals with a concrete problematic in line with nowadays environmental concerns.

The first part will be dedicated to alternative biobinder development. This work will profit from existing solutions which are currently studied by partners such as Biophalt which has been developed by Eiffage or more recent project using tire waste associated with Vegetal oil. Moreover, these existing solutions will be used as inspirative concepts to find new promising biomass. They will be chosen according to a literature review and local agriculture residue availability.

Scientific challenges of this first part will be to solve how to chemically transform biomass to produce a sticky viscous material adaptable to asphalt mix production and use. Produced materials will be mainly assess using rheologic properties.

The second part will be dedicated to the ageing mechanism of recently developed binders. Trial sites have been already done with Biophalt vegetal binder and tire waste associated with vegetale oil. They will be served at reference for field ageing. Main works will consist in developing lab accelerated ageing procedures to assess the ageing kinetic of material coming from biomass and tyre residues in relevant environments (e.g. continental or oceanic or mountain climates). In order to undertake fundamental investigation in the aging process, the materials will be aged by varying factors, such as temperature, reactive oxygen species (ROS, e.g. nitrogen oxide and ozone), UV exposure, and also using specialized equipment simulating aggressive environment such as the marine context with high concentration of moisture and salt (University of Palermo) as well as state-of-the-art facilities at TU Wien. TU Wien has been studying ageing of asphaltic materials, developing and improving lab ageing simulation in the past 12 years. With the Viennese Binder Ageing (VBA) device, a highly flexible and sophisticated approach to simulate field ageing in the lab is available. With the use of VBA, binder materials can be aged while varying temperature, concentration of ROS, UV-VIS radiation and moisture. Thus, the simulation in the lab can be adapted to the observed field ageing in the trial sites.

Scientific challenges of this second part will be to determine the main biobinder molecular changes during ageing and the consequences on the mechanical properties (in order to be able to reproduce ageing mechanisms in lab).

The PhD project will be partly done at University Gustave Eiffel and partly at University di Palermo, as well as in Eiffage lab (Corbas near Lyon, France), and TU Wien. It is a multiscale project, from molecules to binder and asphalt mix scale and from laboratory development to field trial sections. A true European collaboration.


Research Field
Engineering » Other
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent
  • 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.

Additional 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

Applicants must fulfil the following 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 fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.

One application per call per year is allowed.

Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).

Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.

Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.

There is no age limit.

Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website :

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.
  • International Mobility: international mobilities are planned at University of Palermo, Italia (2-3 months) and within TU Wien, Austria (6-9 months). For more information, please contact 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:
Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Université Gustave Eiffel
Postal Code
Allée des Ponts et Chaussées


5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code