Thesis work – How could OEM, recyclers and component suppliers influence each other in a circular ec 212 visningar0 ansökningar

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Thesis work – How could OEM, recyclers and component suppliers influence each other in a circular economy?



In a resource-constrained world, the need of a transition from a linear to circular economy is urgent. In such a transition, an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has various options for design change such as increasing component durability and/or remanufacturing (or recovery) ratio. Those changes influence on other actors on the same value chain. At present, scientific insight of how the influence will be and how those actors could behave is scarce. This is the expected area of scientific contribution.


This project is carried out as a part of two big cutting-edge research projects, Mistra REES and EU Circ€uit. REES is a Swedish project: see more at Circ€uit is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action Innovative Training Network financed by Horizon 2020 on Circular Economy research. A different master thesis project is on-going with a component supplier in relation to this topic, and it is expected to give inputs to and, if timing allows, receive outputs from this thesis project.



The task for the students in this specific master thesis project is to describe several actors’ perspectives on the same value chain towards a circular economy. In concrete terms, the actors’ conditions, roles, and behaviours, as well as relations between them towards and in a circular economy will be identified. In doing so, analysis based on scenarios such as increasing material prices will be interesting.


Proposed Research Questions

  1. What are relevant changes of design within an OEM?
  2. What are relevant changes within a recycler?
  3. How will relevant changes of design within an OEM and its component supplier influence on a recycler?
  4. How will relevant changes within a recycler and design changes within a component supplier influence on the OEM?


Proposed Methodology

Methods to be employed include review of literature; both grey and scientific (incl. companies’ brochures and websites) and case study. The case companies are Volvo cars, a supplier to Volvo cars, and Stena recycling.

Interviews with relevant actors such as company employees will be conducted in the case study. Especially, analysis of interviews and internal documents at companies will be a crucial part. The needed contact information and more specific and detailed information for the thesis will be provided by the supervisors.



English is needed in communicating with supervisors and some interviewees. Swedish language is a merit but not a must. Capacity to manage the work at companies independently and behave almost professionally (including social capacity) especially in communication with the companies. Students having passed the course TKMJ32 (Integrated Product Service Engineering) or TKMJ29 (Resource Efficient Products) are prioritized. Knowledge of Systems thinking is a must and knowledge of System Dynamics is a merit.


Other information

Access to relevant information at companies is provided.

Proposed time: 5 months

Proposed period: Primarily during spring 2018 (to be discussed)

Number of Students: 2

Location of Research: Stay at Volvo Cars’ office expected.

Supervisor: Raphael Wasserbaur –

Examiner: Tomohiko Sakao –



  • Email your application to both Raphael and Tomohiko
  • When applying for this, clearly show how you meet the qualifications above. Also, state your motivation and ambition.


Contact                Tomohiko Sakao – and Axel Edh –

  • Annonsen har tyvärr löpt ut.
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