The Institute for Management Research seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher for a research project on societal aspects of industrial decarbonisation. The position is part of the EU-funded (Horizon Europe) ‘CalBy2030’ project: Calcium looping to capture CO2 from industrial processes by 2030. The CalBy2030 project focuses on advancing novel CO2 capture technologies in the steel industry, the cement industry and in bio-combined heat and power and energy recovery. 

In this project, which is a collaboration of 21 European partners, you will work on one of the key challenges in addressing climate change: how to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions in energy-intensive industries in a couple of decades’ time. Industry accounts for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it is notoriously difficult to reduce those emissions. One of the mitigation options is CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS): the capture of CO2, and its transport and subsequent storage in long-lived products or in geological formations. Many industries are turning to CCUS for emission reductions in the short term, so over the next decade or so. However, CCUS, similar to many other mitigation options, requires societal support and governmental policy aligned with feasible business model innovations, which often raises significant challenges. This is even more pronounced if society and industry move towards a ‘negative emissions’ world, wherein industry is expected to remove CO2 from the atmosphere to counterbalance unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions.

The research work consists of assessing the societal preferences and social acceptability of ‘zero’ or ‘negative emissions’ demonstration projects with novel technologies in the steel and cement industries, and in bio-combined heat and power and energy recovery in Europe. You will conduct interviews and organise a series of focus groups based on a participative modelling method. You will structure the complex problem of industrial decarbonisation through mapping the dynamics of various stakeholders, their interests, and how those interests are interrelated. You will analyse these maps to identify enablers and barriers of industrial decarbonisation as well as formulate recommendations for intervention points to accelerate the transformation that will be needed for industry.