Vacancy No. ITAS 10-2022

ITAS 10-2022 Master Thesis: Agent based assessment of raw material criticality hotspots for lithium ion batteries

Job description

Within the ongoing energy transition, increasing amounts of different Lithium-Ion secondary batteries (LiB) will be needed for stationary and mobile applications. This goes along with concerns about resource availability and criticality. In particular supply chains have to be considered to anticipate potential hotspots when building up a European battery production. There are several criticality based indicators and models available nowadays, which provide mostly a static picture of current situations, so to say only a snapshot of the present. There is a lack to display dynamic changes in production, in products and/or activities over time. Here agent-based modelling and simulation can help to identify in a more dynamic way potentials of supply risks. This is done by translating demand emerges from individual agent decisions and interaction into a dynamic material flow model, representing the materials' stocks and flows of Li, Ni, Mn, Co and natural Graphite. Doing so, it is critical to consider also potential waste flows that can be recycled.     

In particular, the work comprises the following tasks:

  • Review of existing publications on criticality of energy storage and raw materials (e.g. metals)
  • Analysis of hypothetical disruptive changes in supply chains and familiarisation with criticality indicators
  • Familiarisation with FRAMESS, an existing framework for agent-based analysis and optimization
  • Determination of raw material origins and main destinies of waste batteries (material flow analysis)
  • Quantification material flows benefits and consideration of a sensitivity analysis.
  • Integration into FRAMESS and development of a suitable modelling approach for dynamic assessments
  • Critical reflection of the outcomes
Personal qualification
  • Students of industrial engineering, process, social sciences, system analysis or similar disciplines
  • Good technical understanding
  • Initial experience with agent based modelling and criticality is advantageous
  • Skilled in MS-Office (Excel and Word)
  • Very good English skills
  • Organised and reliable, working independently and self-motivated.
Organizational unit

Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Starting date


Contract duration

limited, 6 months

Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Baumann, phone +49 721 608-23215, email:, Dr. Ottenburger, email: sadeeb.ottenburger@kit edu and Dr. Weil, email:


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number ITAS 10-2022.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Carrasco Sanchez
phone: +49 721 608-42016,

Kaiserstr. 12, 76131 Karlsruhe

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.