KU Leuven

Professor in Computational Materials Science

Ku Leuven Belgium

Leuven, Belgium

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials Engineering and Department of Computer Science, there is a joint full-time academic vacancy in the area of Computational Materials Science on Campus Leuven. We are looking for candidates with an excellent, internationally oriented and interdisciplinary research record and with educational competence within the fields of Materials Science and Engineering, and Scientific Computing.

The Department of Materials Engineering (MTM) performs research on material structure, properties and behaviour, materials design and materials production and recycling, considering a broad spectrum of materials and applications. Concerning materials modelling techniques, MTM focuses on the modelling of the microstructure and functional and mechanical behaviour of materials, providing also the link between the mesoscale behaviour and macroscopic properties of materials.

At the Department of Computer Science, the research unit NUMA performs research on numerical methods, algorithms and software for simulation and data analysis, with applications in many fields in science and engineering, in particular in materials engineering, focusing on multi-scale simulation, high performance computing, optimization, and model order reduction.

Both departments have systematically been given a high ranking for research and education quality by independent accreditation committees. The departments have an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and industrial world, and are highly successful in obtaining research funding. The excellent collaboration of both departements has already resulted in joint projects and various realizations, from which the candidate can benefit.




In computational materials science, computational methods and software are developed and applied to investigate existing materials, to design new materials and to optimize their processing. The research questions are related to all aspects of material science, such as material properties, structure, manufacturing, degradation, deformation, etc. The need to investigate several physical processes at multiple length and time scales necessitates the use of advanced mathematical techniques in simulation and data analysis.

The new position is a strategic KU Leuven mandate with the aim to complement the existing expertise in both departments and to bring KU Leuven to the forefront of the rapidly expanding field of computational materials science.

We expect that you will develop novel and advanced computational techniques and data analysis methods for materials engineering, aiming at combining physics-based and data-driven modelling and simulation in order to achieve model-based in-silico design of materials and processes. The emphasis is preferentially on the meso-scale aspects of materials and the integration of mesoscale material simulations within multi-scale simulations and to derive structure-property and production-property relations.

Emphasis should also be on advanced
numerical methods, (data-driven) model order reduction, optimization or uncertainty quantification.

Specifically, we expect that

● You develop an internationally competitive research programme and build a research group in this domain.
● You strengthen the existing research lines and provide additional expertise.
● You set up collaborations within and outside of the two departments, and you set up an international collaboration around your
research programme.
● You collaborate with experimentalists and design computational tools to support and analyse novel experiments.
● You are capable of acquiring competitive funding (regional, national and European) for fundamental and applied research.
● You strive for excellence in your research and publish at the highest scientific level.
● You supervise PhDs at an international level.
● You give the necessary attention to the valorisation on the research results.


You ensure high-quality teaching within the area of materials engineering and mathematical engineering, with a clear commitment to the quality of both master programmes. In a later phase, you also contribute to teaching of computational mathematics and materials engineering in various bachelor and other master programmes in the Faculty of Engineering Science.

You develop your courses in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.

Your teaching task will be determined in consultation and based on your specific profile. The scope of this is limited in the first years of your
appointment, to give sufficient time to build an international research career. In your further career, the faculty pays a great deal of attention
to the balance between research and teaching time.


You are prepared to provide scientific, societal and internal services.


You have a PhD in materials engineering, applied mathematics, mathematical engineering, physics or a related degree.

You have a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in prominent international journals and through international research experience.

A good command of English is required.

The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch to the required level.


We are offering full-time employment in a highly intellectual and dynamic environment.
KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our
university is highly inter- and multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard we actively work together
with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

You will interact with the two departments and you will benefit from immediate involvement in running projects and the existing collaborations.

You will have the possibility to use High Performance Computing infrastructure from the Flemish Supercomputer Center and can get support
with the upscaling of computer simulations and/or applications at PRACE. KU Leuven encourages and greatly supports applications for H2020 projects, such as ERC grants.

You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant
professor, associate professor, professor or full professor.

In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor.

At the start, you will receive a budget for one PhD student for 4 years and 100.000 euro working budget after definition of a concrete research project. You will also have the opportunity to supervise another PhD student by joining running projects.

he official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment,
KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings.
Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch, respectively English, to the required standard.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Martine Wevers, tel.: +32 16 32 13 03, mail: martine.wevers@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. ir.
Stefan Vandewalle, tel.: +32 16 32 76 54, mail: stefan.vandewalle@kuleuven.be.

In case of with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.

Add to your application following documents (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):

● your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past
career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);

● a file on your five most important publications or realizations;

● an extensive cv including a full publication list and if applicable a portfolio of your architectural projects;

● your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleagueresearchers
of the entity of employment (maximum 5 pages);

● your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);

● your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards
and councils and service activities in direct relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);

● your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page).

KU Leuven is committed to creating a diverse environment and is therefore an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages
candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.

You can apply for this job no later than September 15, 2019 via the online application tool :
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments.

If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.