Els Du Bois has an MSc in Product Development and PhD in Industrial Design Engineering. She is a member of the Product Development research group, in the Faculty of Design Sciences that has the mission to empower the creation of innovative products to improve human well-being. She is responsible for the extension of the research domain of ecodesign, which includes design for a circular economy. She manages different research projects that supports knowledge creation towards more sustainable development throughout the complete lifecycle of products. She provides advice to both Flemish and multinational companies to lower the environmental impact of their products and improve their qualitative life cycle analysis. She educates, coaches and engages students in designing sustainable products, ideation and idea generation, and material-related design within the bachelor and master programs of Product Development and Applied Engineering. She is co-author of a peer-reviewed book on Ecodesign, which is written to fulfil the perceived need within industry.
Her expertise is related to
(i) 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
(ii) Sustainable experience: product lifetime extension, development and evaluation of product service systems, achieving sustainable behaviour by experience; sustainable ownership; green e-commerce
(iii) Closing the loop: product end of life management, product reuse, component reuse, recycling, pre-composting of organic waste, plastic soup, sorting behaviour
She regularly works with various companies and governmental organisations, such as SUEZ, Eco-OH!, Recticel, Vanheede, deSter, Deceuninck, Govaerts recycling, Galloo Plastics, Veldeman, Stad Antwerpen, OVAM, Vlaanderen Circulair, VKC – Centexbel, Pilipili, Voxdale, Fosfor, Val-i-pac, Febelauto, Recytyre.