Sustainability & Resilience

Job Type
Job Rank
PhD student
Job Institution
University of Massachusetts
Job Description

PhD Position(s) - Sustainability & Resilience - Call for applications for PhD program in Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell

The BUilding REsilience through Knowledge (BUREK) Lab at the University of Massachusetts, Mechanical Engineering Department is offering full-time Research Assistant (RA) position(s). The applicant(s) will show academic achievement in the field(s) of mechanical engineering and sustainability. At BUREK Lab students work on interdisciplinary projects and apply engineering, life cycle assessment (LCA), and decision-making models to find solutions to climate change and environmental problems, for example, finding cost-effective early design solutions for passive houses and zero energy buildings, food insecurity in the cold supply chain, develop multi-objective optimization tools, and emerging biomass technology. The applicant(s) should have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research that would contribute to resolving pressing environmental, economic, and social challenges. A working knowledge of LCA and quantitative methods and their application in LCA, coding, machine learning, statistics, data science, data visualization, spatial analysis would be of benefit to someone working on this project. A background or knowledge of commercial/residential buildings, resilience engineering, transportation, retail industries, refrigeration, and supply chains are highly desirable.

The position shall be filled starting from September 1st, 2022, for the duration of three years.

Required qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field such as mechanical and environmental engineering, environmental science, industrial ecology, civil engineering or similar. The master’s degree needs to be gained before the recruitment date at the latest
  • Previous academic record of contributions to sustainability
  • Cooperative attitude and willingness to work in interdisciplinary team and guiding undergraduate students
  • Strong communication skills and excellent command of English

 Desired qualifications:

  • Strong analytical thinking
  • Skills in modeling and programming (for example, knowledge of Matlab and/or Python)
  • Interest in connecting modeling techniques (for example, optimization and LCA, machine learning and LCA, sustainability and resilience, etc.)

 The applicant(s) will be evaluated based on:

  • Previous academic record
  • Publication record
  • Honors and Awards
  • Employment history
  • Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion

 Required documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Academic transcript

Applications without required documents will not be considered.

Letter of motivation:

In your letter of motivation describe your:

  • Motivation to write a PhD dissertation in the field of sustainability
  • Past contributions to sustainability and/or resilience engineering
  • Main experiences and achievements
  • Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion

For information about the RA position, you may contact Prof. Burek, e-mail:

The application deadline is April 8th 2022. You may apply to the (1) PhD program in Mechanical Engineering, however, there will be a $75 application fee due or (2) directly to Prof. Jasmina Burek, e-mail:  

For information on PhD program in Mechanical Engineering, please visit this page:

For information about the requirements, please visit this page:

For information on type of assistantships, please visit this page: 

The successful candidate will work with Prof. Jasmina Burek

Prof. Jasmina Burek (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Zagreb (Croatia). Her research focuses on sustainability and resilience engineering and advancing life cycle assessment (LCA) method. Prof. Burek believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion (DE&I) are crucial for the success of the scientific endeavor itself. Prof. Burek has been working to address the issues of women and non-hegemonic communities in engineering and increase women PhDs in Mechanical Engineering, and all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, and has been advocating for awareness and institutional changes.


About University of Massachusetts Lowell:

UMass Lowell is a Carnegie Doctoral High Research (RU/H) university ranked in the top tier of US News' National Universities and is strategically located 30 miles northwest of Boston in the northeast Massachusetts high-tech region.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is committed to increasing diversity in its faculty, staff, and student populations, as well as in curriculum and support programs, while promoting an inclusive and nurturing environment. The University of Massachusetts Lowell is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.