Innovative Transportation Concept

Innovative Transportation Concept

KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

(ref. ZAP-2018-68)

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technology Cluster Mechanical Engineering Technology, Campus Group T at KU Leuven there is a full-time vacancy for academic staff or tenure track (professor) in the area of machine design and automation with specialization in transportation concepts.

We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record, a strong affinity with industrial applications, and with educational competence within the field of mechanical design/automation, oriented towards application in industry.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is one of the key players in the field of mechanical processing and mechanical design within Europe. The department is involved in a large number of national and international research projects and has acquired a unique research infrastructure. It has a strong link with the university’s tech transfer office LRD and with Flemish and European research institutes for technology transfer. The department has also been very successful in the creation of spin-off companies, illustrating the socio-economic relevance of its research. Many of these spin-off companies (like NIKON-Metrology, Materialise, 3DSystems-Layerwise, Siemens Industry Software) are technology leaders within their domain, and their products and services are renowned internationally.

The research group Intelligent Mobility of Campus Group T – Sustainable engineering is an interdisciplinary research group with a strong focus on the development of new transportation systems by means of a combination of expertise in 1D modeling, energy efficiency and control. With this vacancy, the research group wants to strengthen its activities in the field of the development and validation of prototypes for innovative transportation concepts, both on a level of conceptual design of components as well as on the development of prototypes.

Through the integration in Campus Group T and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Heverlee you will have access to a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international research network, connections with industry and non-profit organisations, a steady offer of talented PhD researchers and a supporting work environment embedded in a multi-disciplinary network with other KU Leuven research departments.

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For a very long time, efficient transportation of both goods and persons has been a keystone of welfare in the industrialized world. Today, this keystone is under pressure for several reasons: the impact on the climate, the lack of space in urban environments and the energy consumption. In order to guarantee a sustainable mobility and transport in the future, there is a need for a paradigm shift driven by the rise of new disruptive technologies coupled to a changing economical, societal and physical environment.

The transportation system of the future has to be intelligent, sustainable and completely integrated in the multi-modal logistics chain of the future. The key factor to meet these requirements is a mechanical transportation platform. The design of such a platform starts from the conceptual analysis of components up to the development of a prototype, which is the base of this vacancy. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach starting from conceptual designs (modeling) to the development of a validation platform (prototype). Therefore, this research line must build a bridge from conceptual design and experimental validation techniques.

As such, your research will aim at the development and validation of prototypes for innovative transportation concepts. Both the conceptual design on a component level and the development of a prototype are envisaged.

You are expected to build up excellent applied research in this domain, with a demonstrable affinity with technological implementation and a profound interest in applications in the regional and international manufacturing industry.

The candidate will:

  • set up and coordinate a research programme at international level within one or several of the above-mentioned research tracks.
  • develop an international partnership, as part of your research programme, within the academic world as well as with regional and international industry.
  • take the lead in setting up close cooperation with the current members of the campus, the department, and with researchers at the other KU Leuven departments and campuses.
  • strive for excellence in your research and provide a contribution to the continued development of the research group, its infrastructure and industrial services to the community and Flemish and European industry.
  • have the capability to acquire competitive funding, both project-based government funding as well as bilateral industrial funding. Support from LRD will be provided.
  • engage in targeted scientific research, resulting in PhDs and publications that meet international standards and lead to broad international recognition and collaboration.
  • give substantial attention to valorisation on behalf of government and business in applied research.

You contribute to the education within the academic programmes of the Faculty of Engineering Technology. The academic programmes offered by this faculty aim at educating engineers with a strong focus on industry-ready technological development and problem solving. Your teaching activities take primarily place at Campus Group T, but on the long term, you are also prepared to contribute to the education on other campuses within your expertise.

You ensure high-quality education within the area of mechanical design and automation, as well as courses in the bachelor and master in engineering technology linked to mechanics. You have a clear commitment towards the quality of the programme as a whole, and you contribute to the pedagogic project of the Faculty of Engineering Technology through the supervision of bachelor and master theses and as a supervisor of PhD students.

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

You are prepared to provide scientific, societal and internal services. In particular, you are willing to provide services to the Government and to (regional) industry in the context of applied research assignments.

Therefore, you stay up-to-date with both scientific state-of-the-art and with industrial state-of-practice in the field of mechanical design and automation.

You play an active role in profiling the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the industry sector by, for example, participating in information days and events.


  • You have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (Technology) or a similarly related degree, and demonstrable expertise in the field of the vacancy (e.g. via the subject of your doctoral thesis, research projects and publications).
  • You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by your publications and by your research experience with industry. International experience is an important advantage.
  • You have a vision on providing high-quality academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities. You are willing to coordinate a research group and educational activities within KU Leuven.
  • A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English.
  • 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 your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings.
  • Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required standard. After three years, most courses will have to be taught in Dutch.

We are offering full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. The alma mater of acclaimed scholars such as Erasmus, Andreas Vesalius and Georges Lemaître, KU Leuven has a rich scientific tradition and history. Its internationally renowned research and educational programmes cause it to consistently rank among the best 50 universities worldwide. It is highly inter- and multi-disciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard, it actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad. It provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research. For education, the profile of the different engineering curricula is attuned to the socio-economic needs.

You will work in Leuven, in the centre of Belgium, 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than three 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.

For more information on the contents of the job, please contact: Prof. dr. ir. Joris De Schutter, departmental chair Mechanical Engineering, tel.: +32 16 32 24 79, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Koen Eneman, campus chair Campus Group T Leuven, tel.: +32 16 30 10 65, mail: Please add a research statement (no more than 2 pages) to your motivation letter, demonstrating your added value for the research programme. In addition, please outline your vision on academic education in a teaching statement (no more than 2 pages). For problems with online applying, please contact

You can apply for this job no later than February 01, 2019 via the online application tool

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