ULiège is a partner in three MSCA Doctoral network projects


The University of Liège is participating in three MSCA Doctoral Network projects. A funding tool for doctoral networks whose objective is to implement doctoral programmes through partnerships of organisations from different sectors in Europe and beyond to train highly qualified researchers, stimulate their creativity, reinforce their innovation capacities, and improve their long-term employability. EuSpecLab, CESAREF and D-Carbonize will be supervised by researchers from the Faculty of Science (Molsys / CESAM) and the School of Engineering (Chemical Engineering / UEE) of the University of Liege.

EUSpecLab | European Spectroscopy Laboratory to model the materials of the future

The European Materials Modelling Council's roadmap has identified a strong need for materials modelling in European industries, especially at the atomic, molecular and quantum levels. One of the main bottlenecks is the lack of scientists able to translate industrial problems into modelling strategies, perform simulations with state-of-the-art tools and obtain results of immediate engineering value. EUSpecLab addresses this problem by training a new generation of innovative materials scientists who will bridge the gap between industrial processes and theoretical understanding and exploit the new computational tools of artificial intelligence. EUSpecLab will train students in the theory, development and application of computer codes for modelling advanced spectroscopies (e.g. time and spin-resolved spectroscopies) for the characterisation and design of new materials that will shape the future of our society. The results will be exploited using machine learning to build on first-principles results and explore broad classes of materials. This project is coordinated by the CNRS and the University of Rennes I.

Contact ULiège

Matthieu Verstraete


CESAREF | Concerted European action on Sustainable Applications of REFractories

Refractory materials play an essential role in industries operating at high temperatures, such as the steel, glass and cement industries. Refractories are ceramic materials optimised to withstand severe operating conditions that induce particularly complex thermo-mechanical and chemical damage mechanisms. Under the impetus of the Green Deal, the steel industry will undergo major technological changes in the next decade. The reduction of iron ore using hydrogen is one of the preferred ways of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This technology, like others, will require concerted European action to increase the sustainability of refractories. The CESAREF European consortium, bringing together steel and refractory producers and academic centres, will address the following topics:

- efficient use of raw materials and recycling,

- design of microstructures for increased durability,

- the anticipation of hydrogen steel production,

- energy efficiency and sustainability.

The ULiege will be more particularly involved in three theses on the development of life cycle analysis methodologies. In particular, the aim will be to quantify the depletion of primary resources, compare different refractory production routes and take into account the "value in use" dimension of refractories in steelmaking processes. The PhD students will alternate between the university and the industrial partner (RHI Magnesita, St Gobain, Tata Steel). This project is coordinated by the University of Limoges.

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Contacts ULiège

Angélique Léonard

Eric Pirard


D-Carbonize | Biocarbon based Polymers for Sustainable Material Development

D-Carbonize targets the valorisation of biocarbon (small organic molecules derived from biomass and CO2) into low-carbon feedstocks for the chemical/polymer industries via innovative catalysis solutions and transformation processes. This biocarbon is renewable, generally abundant and non-toxic, and often easy to handle, even on a large scale. Therefore, it is particularly attractive for the production of basic chemicals for the chemical industry (carbonates, carbamates, carboxylic acids, esters), pharmaceutical synthons, and organic polymers and materials. Although catalysis can be used to add value to biocarbon, it has rarely been used in the broader context of developing monomers/polymers for materials that are tailor-made for a defined application and yet commercially relevant. Breakthrough technological solutions will also be developed to ensure the transferability of the developed processes to the commercial scale. The project also aims to explore innovative ways of recycling polymers and organic materials from biocarbon.

The network will recruit 12 PhD students, whom two universities will award a double PhD degree in two different countries at the end of the training programme. D-Carbonize brings together leading higher education institutions, research centres and companies to form an innovation community capable of providing excellent research and training in both R&D and entrepreneurship. This project is coordinated by the Fundacio Privada Institut Catala d'Investigacio Quimica (ICIQ)

ULiège contacts

Christophe Detrembleur

Jean-Christophe Monbaliu


About the MSCA Doctoral Network

The MSCA Doctoral Networks are part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, a European Union reference programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training. Through partnerships between universities, research institutions and infrastructures, companies, including SMEs, and other socio-economic actors from different countries in Europe and beyond, these networks implement doctoral programmes. These doctoral programmes will address well-identified needs in various fields of research and innovation, expose researchers to the academic and non-academic sectors, and provide research training and transferable skills and competencies useful for innovation and long-term employability.

Two types of PhD networks. Industrial doctorates train doctoral students who wish to develop their skills and move outside academia, particularly in industry and business. Individual participants must be enrolled in a doctoral programme and be jointly supervised by academic and non-academic partners. Joint doctorates offer a highly integrated type of international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration in doctoral training leading to a joint doctorate or several doctorates awarded by the participating institutions.

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