Designing environmentally sustainable electronic products

Loughborough University

Electronics is of vital importance for the transition to the Net Zero economy, being core to multiple applications from electric cars to renewable energy management and the smart electrical grid.

However, while electronic products account for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, electronic design has lagged behind other industrial sectors in taking into account environmental impacts at the design stage of the product lifecycle, where the greatest potential for improvement exists.

The aim of this project will be to add environmental impact assessment capability to the electronic CAD (eCAD) circuit design and PCB layout design tools used by designers, allowing them to quickly evaluate the sustainability implications of choices early in the design cycle. To achieve this the doctoral student will work closely with the electronics industry supply chain to evaluate the environmental impact profiles of components and production processes, and will demonstrate the gains possible using reference product designs.

This project offers the student an in depth training in industrial environmental sustainability issues and methodologies, through being a member of the highly respected Centre for SMART at Loughborough University and benefitting from the support and expertise of the centre’s academics, researchers and industrial partners. Loughborough University has an applied research culture. 

We are a community based on mutual support and collaboration. Through our Doctoral College, there are continual opportunities for building essential research skills and networks among your peers and research academics.

The Wolfson School provides a prestigious and inclusive environment for research, with a thriving doctoral community. Renowned for impactful research with global benefits, we rank 62nd worldwide in Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering (QS 2023).

PhD students at Wolfson receive generous additional funds to support individual development, including travel, attending conferences, and training programs.

The School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering has seen 100% of its research impact rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF, 2021).


Primary supervisor: Patrick Webb

Secondary supervisor: Elliot Woolley

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering’. Please quote the advertised reference number SA24-UF-PW in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please submit the minimum supporting documents.

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