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Job ID: 161030

KU Leuven

Date Posted Jun. 21, 2021
University KU Leuven
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
Department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Application Deadline Oct. 11, 2021
Position Start Date Oct. 1, 2022
  • Assistant Professor
    Associate Professor
  • Robotics

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Research Division RAM, there is a full-time academic vacancy in the area of robotics, automation and mechatronics on campus Arenberg. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record in design and control of mechatronics and robotics components and systems with potential for adoption in the manufacturing industry and in human assistive devices, and with educational competence within the field of mechanical engineering.
The RAM research division is embedded within the Faculty of Engineering Science (Campus Arenberg) and the Faculty of Engineering Technology (with campuses in Leuven, Ghent, Bruges, Diepenbeek, Geel and Sint-Katelijne-Waver); multi-campus collaboration in research and education is strongly encouraged.
The position will be given in the Faculty of Engineering Science, on Campus Arenberg, just outside the historical centre of the city of Leuven. In the past, this faculty has systematically been given a high ranking for research and education quality by independent accreditation committees. The faculty has an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and business world.
The research division can build upon a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international network, connections with companies and non-profit organisations, a stable offer of highly talented PhD students and a supportive work environment.

You develop a research programme in robotics, automation and mechatronics.
You create research activities around industrially or societally relevant topics, and connect these to the courses you teach.
You strengthen existing research lines and provide complementary expertise.
You explore and exploit the many research opportunities that present themselves within the department, via collaborations with the other five research divisions.
You make the best use of the department’s long-standing close collaborations with Flemish machine tool builders (in direct interactions, or via Flanders Make, the Flemish strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry,, the department’s many mechatronics and robotics spin-off companies, and several research groups from the Biomedical Sciences Group of the KU Leuven that focus on human motion analysis and assistance (that is, the university hospitals in Gasthuisberg and Pellenberg, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences).
You strive for excellence in your research and thusly provide a contribution to the continued development of the research division and the department.
You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire resources to support your research, develop international collaborations and supervise PhD students at an international level.
You give attention to the valorisation of your research. A spin-off oriented mindset is a plus, as is a focus on sustainable development goals.

You share the teaching load in our bachelor and master programmes in mechanical engineering, and take the responsibility for a selection of courses in: kinematics and dynamics, control systems design and estimation, system identification, robotics, mechatronic design (integrating hardware, electronics and software), optimal control and optimization for mechatronic systems. Thorough ‘white box’, first-principles based, lumped-parameter analysis is the foundation of these courses and thesis projects; constrained optimization (in the continuous, discrete and symbolic sensing and control levels) is our core problem formulation and solution approach. Our master-level education in robotics, automation and mechatronics is research-driven.
You ensure high-quality education, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty and university through the supervision of master theses and as a promoter of PhD students.
You develop your teachings 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 is determined in consultation and based on your specific profile. The scope of this is limited in the first years of your appointment. 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, social and internal services.

You have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering or Mechatronics, or an equivalent experience.
You have a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in leading international journals and conferences. International experience is an important advantage.
You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities within a university context.
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 employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in 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 an intellectually challenging 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 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.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Herman Bruyninckx, tel.: +32 16 32 80 56, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts, tel.: +32 16 32 26 40, mail:
For problems with online applying, please contact

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 colleague-researchers 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 directly in 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.
    KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.
    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

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources Department
    KU Leuven
    Parijsstraat 72B Box 4440
    Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000


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