Temporary position OT-21980

Scientist in bio-based building material sector modelling


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) is a major player in research and innovation. It is a community of 12,000 people with 272 research, experimental research, and support units located in 18 regional centres throughout France. Internationally, INRAE is among the top research organisations in the agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, as well as in ecology and environmental science. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in agriculture, food and the environment. INRAE’s goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. Faced with a growing world population, climate change, resource scarcity, and declining biodiversity, the Institute has a major role to play in building solutions and supporting the necessary acceleration of agricultural, food and environmental transitions.

Work environment, missions and activities

  • You will be welcomed in the joint INRAE-University of Lorraine LAE research unit (UMR LAE) based in Colmar. Your research will contribute to the SLAM-B project (Scenarios Labs to design and evaluate the bioeconomy trajectories of territories towards carbon neutrality) of the PEPR FairCarbon. SLAM-B aims to develop modeling and assessment methods of territorial organization combining bioeconomy and agroecology for the development of virtuous and circular interdependencies making it possible to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. You will work with Julie Wohlfahrt, researcher (UMR LAE, Colmar) and Bernard Kurek, research director (UMR FARE, Reims). Within the UMR LAE Colmar, you will be part of a dynamic research team around the modeling and assessment of bioeconomic systems and the MAELIA platform.


  • The building sector is currently the largest emitter of GHGs and consumer of resources in cities. The carbon neutrality of an urban area will tomorrow require the neutrality of buildings and construction. The use of bio-based materials appears to be a solution to achieve this objective. Your work will help develop a model capable of representing, in a generic and explicit manner, the functioning of several sectors of bio-based construction materials (e.g.: wood materials, bio-based concrete). This model will represent the different stages from the collection of biomass resources to their use for buildings and then their recycling. This model must represent the flows of biomass and materials in a dynamic and spatially explicit manner. Your work will also aim to integrate the assessment of the environmental performance of bio-based construction material sectors into this model (e.g.: integration of indicator calculation). This model will aim to support stakeholders in the design of territorial organizations for bioeconomy activities by simulating and evaluating different organizational scenarios for these sectors in the study territories.


  • The first step will be to carry out a bibliographic study to identify existing work on the modeling and assessment of the sustainability of bio-based building material sectors. This work will make it possible to identify: 1. the sectors and issues already documented; 2. the methods used and their limits; 3. existing results in terms of models and sustainability assessment. In a second step, based on expert knowledge, interviews and bibliographic knowledge, you will model several sectors of bio-based building material. In order to account for the specificities of bio-based sectors, compared to oil-based sectors (e.g.: dispersion or seasonality of resources) this modeling must carefully take into account the supply and production regimes compared to the transformation and use regimes as well as the product/material and energy balances of the different processes. This model must be able to dynamically assess the production, transformation and recycling regimes of several bio-based materials as well as the decisions made by stakeholders at the different stages of the life cycle of the materials and the buildings in which they are inserted.

Training and skills

  • Recommended training: PhD or master degree in civil engineering, industrial system engineering, general engineering, industrial ecology, environmental science, agronomical / forest science, multidisciplinary courses
  • Knowledge required: conceptual and computer modeling, processing of quantitative (R software) and spatial (GIS) data, sustainability assessment tools and methods, English B2.
  • Appreciated experience: Knowledge of the field of construction and bio-sourced materials would be a plus
  • Skills sought: ability to work independently, interest in knowledge synthesis, interest in modeling approaches

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer advise;
social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

How to apply

I send my CV and my motivation letter

Offer reference

  • Contract: Temporary position
  • Duration: 18 to 24 months depending on diploma and experience
  • Beginning: 02/09/2024
  • Remuneration: gross wage from 2100 to 4000 €/month depending on diploma and experience
  • Reference: OT-21980
  • Deadline: 30/06/2024


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