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TotalEnergies PhD Scholarship 2021 for International Scholars – France

We are looking for a doctoral student for a 36-month thesis to develop a methodology that allows taking spatial specificities, especially in the context of silicon and metal’s ecotoxicity, as well as prospective technological developments into account in the LCA of PV systems with a special focus on perovskite on silicon tandems.
The specific objectives are:
– To develop a life cycle impact assessment method allowing for regionalized ecotoxicological impact estimates of metals found in perovskite on silicon PV tandem systems
– To describe current and future PV systems by means of parameterized LCA models with a special focus on the end-of-life stage of the considered PV systems
– To evaluate the LCA of PV systems based on the developed methodology and systems
The PhD candidate will work on the development of the LCA methodology at two different levels. The first level relates to the life cycle inventory, where the candidate will develop parameterized models of the considered PV systems, applying a special focus on the end-of life stage. The second level is linked to the impact assessment, where the candidate will develop a method to spatially characterize the potential environmental impacts of metals used in the life cycle of the PV systems considered: perovskite on silicon tandem, and a single junction silicon as the reference PV system.
For the life cycle inventory, the candidate will start by settling on the PV systems to consider, then continue by identifying and describing the life cycle stages to be included in the LCA of the considered PV systems, before developing and describing end-of-life scenarios. The description of these systems will rely on parameters to ensure their flexibility and follow the general principles of prospective LCA. Combined with currently available life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods, these inventories will allow prospective impact assessments of the considered PV systems.
The PhD candidate will go further than applying available LCIA methods by developing a regionalized characterized ecotoxicological impact assessment method for silicon and metals. The method will be operationalized for metals found in the considered PV systems (including silicon), meaning that characterization factors will be developed, but will be generic enough to be applied in other contexts. For this part, the PhD candidate will first review available ecotoxicological impact assessment methods for metals. In a second step, the PhD candidate will formulate strategies to improve the reliability and spatial representativity of the ecotoxicological LCIA method for metals. Finally, the PhD candidate will operationalize one or several of these strategies for the metals found in the considered PV systems to evaluate the case study(ies).


  • You are fond of research & development and wish to join an international company at the heart of the energy transition.
  • You recently graduated in MSc in Environmental Sciences or equivalent.
  • You are bilingual in English and have a professional French.
  • You have acquired skills in LCA methodology and software (Brightway, openLCA, Simapro), photovoltaic systems (tandem and PV waste management), chemistry (potential ecotoxicological impacts of metals will be a plus) and have a background on Applied Mathematics and Statistics.
  • You have programming skills in Python or in Matlab or R.
  • You are dynamic, have a scientific curiosity and communication and synthesis skills.

Application Procedure

TotalEnergies is a broad energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and electricity. Our 105,000 employees are committed to better energy that is more affordable, more reliable, cleaner, and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major.
Within the company, Gas Renewables and Power (GRP) is dedicated to the commercial development of renewable energy from solar and wind. TotalEnergies pursues differentiation through technology as the first step towards building competitive integrated large-scale operations in renewable and low-carbon energy. 
The ambition of TotalEnergies is to become the sustainable energy major and the Group is thus focusing its efforts on the development of low-carbon energy solutions. TotalEnergies is a founding member of the IPVF, an institute of the Energy Transition, and is looking for support on the environmental assessment of photovoltaic tandem module development (specifically: perovskite on crystalline silicon) that is a key activity at IPVF.
The objective of the thesis is to support TotalEnergies activities at the Institut Photovoltaïque d’Ile de France, more specifically on the development of the environmental footprint assessment of tandem PV systems.

Official Website:Total Energies PhD Scholarship 2021 for International Scholars – France



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