Els Du Bois
Els Du Bois
Product Development
University of Antwerp


Prof. dr. Els Du Bois is a tenure track research professor at the University of Antwerp, faculty of Design Sciences, department of Product Development, where she is responsible for extending the research domain of ecodesign, which includes supporting design for a circular economy. Her special interest is on the designerly optimisation of circular plastics usage. She completed her PhD in Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in 2013 and started her postdoc within the research group of Product Development that has the mission to empower the creation of innovative products to improve human well-being.

She manages different research projects that supports knowledge development towards a more sustainable development for the complete lifecycle of plastic products. She educates, coaches and engages students in designing sustainable products, ideation and idea generation, and material-related designs within the bachelor and master programs of product development and industrial engineering. Besides, she is advising companies in lowering environmental impact of their products and qualitative life cycle analysis. She is / has been working together with various companies and governmental organisations, such as SUEZ, Eco-OH!, Atlas Copco, Recticel, Vanheede, Deceuninck, Govaerts recycling, Galloo Plastics, Veldeman Bedding, Stad Antwerpen, OVAM, Vlaanderen Circulair, VKC – Centexbel, Val-i-pac, Febelauto, Recytyre.

Her expertise is related to (i) Sustainable experience: product lifetime extension, development and evaluation of product service systems, achieving sustainable behaviour by experience, sustainable ownership; (ii) Material experience: smart material selection, user-centred material characteristics, material identity of new materials (e. g. biomaterials, second raw materials such as recycled plastics), design FROM recycling; (iii) Closing the loop: product end of life management, product reuse, component reuse, recycling, pre-composting of organic waste, plastic soup, sorting behaviour.

Presentation title: Eco design – how to design optimal plastics usage in the circular economy

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