Master Student Internship in Integrating the modelling of consumer behaviour towards environmental information into Life Cycle Assessment (M/F)

Reference : ERIN-2018-INTERN_024

Type: Intern
Contract type: Internship
Duration: 6 months
Place: Belvaux

Context

 

The successful candidate will join the “Environmental Research and Innovation” (ERIN) department. With a team of more than 170 scientists and engineers from life science, environmental science, and IT science, the department has the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to tackle major environmental challenges our society is facing today: climate change mitigation, ecosystem resilience, sustainable energy systems, efficient use of renewable resources, environmental pollution prevention and control.

The "Environmental Research and Innovation" (ERIN) department of LIST has an opening for an Intern position. The intern will be integrated in the Life Cycle Sustainability and Risk Assessment (LiSRA) Unit, which develops knowledge, transferable (software) technologies and practical methods for the integrative evaluation and management of the sustainability and toxicological risks of human driven systems.

 

Description

 

The Life Cycle Sustainability and Risk Assessment (LiSRA) unit of the Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) is developing software tools for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for companies and policy makers.

One emerging topic is the impact of consumer behaviour influenced by environmental information presented to them. This information can range from single indicator at the moment of purchase to ecolabels (e.g. ISO 1402X family) and large-scale campaigns. It is argued that the effectiveness of information depends on the consumers’ trust, which in turn depends on their knowledge of the presented information. To this end, a combination is needed of methods that assess the environmental impact of products, e.g. LCA, with those that model human behaviour, e.g. agent-based modelling (ABM), in this case towards environmental information. This coupling can go both ways as, on the one hand, LCA provides supportive environmental information that can influence behaviour and, on the other hand, behaviour will define which products will be selected, influencing the environmental impact of production systems such as that of regions or populations.

The purpose of the internship is to contribute to the conceptual modelling, coding and data collection/processing in the context of two case studies investigating the impact of human behaviour using ABM/LCA coupled simulators. The coding would result in one or several code bricks that can be used to easily integrate such ABM module into LCA. An additional research question to consider, deals about the uncertainty of such modelling efforts, especially related to human perception and how to characterise it.

The internship project will have four distinct tasks:

  • Collect information on environmental information in the context of the two case studies, among else from literature
  • Contribute to processing of methodological results, e.g. from LCA, into the formats presented towards the consumers
  • Collect data needed to build a conceptual model (ABM) of consumers’ behavior towards environmental information
  • Contribute to coding efforts of conceptual models in both case study contexts

The first case study lies within the CONNECING project (https://www.list.lu/en/research/project/connecting/) investigating mobility policy scenarios, during which environmental information (e.g. ecolabels) affecting car purchase and emergence of electro mobility is planned to be investigated. The second case lies within a study investigating the impact of circular business models for PVC flooring, comprising recycling and a take-back or leasing system.

 


Profile

 

Education

  • Master student in informatics/computer science

Competencies

  • Hands on Python and Java skills
  • Basic competences in statistics
  • Skills in control version systems like git and statistical programming languages like R are appreciated
  • Passionate about translating conceptual ideas into practice
  • Be sociable and enjoy teamwork

Language

  • Fluent English and/or French (spoken and written) is mandatory

 

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Contact

BENETTO_Enrico_2018_www.jpg
Dr-Ing. Enrico BENETTO