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Job ID: 160316

KU Leuven

Date Posted Jun. 9, 2021
University KU Leuven
Ghent, Belgium
Department Department of Materials Engineering
Application Deadline Aug. 24, 2021
Position Start Date Oct. 1, 2022
  • Assistant Professor
    Associate Professor
  • Mechanical Engineering


KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy at the Ghent Technology Campus in the area of the characterization of mechanical material behaviour via mixed experimental-numerical methodologies. We are looking for internationally orientated candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research record and with educational competencies within the field of applied material science, numerical simulation techniques and mechanical design, strongly focused on the mechanical behaviour of metals in forming and in joining by forming processes. The successful applicant will be appointed in the Department of Materials Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven.
The Faculty of Engineering Technology has an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and business world.
The research group Mechanics of Materials, Products and Processes (MeM2P) 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. MeM2P conducts research into the mechanical behaviour of materials in industrial applications with an emphasis on developing both numerical and experimental techniques to identify this behaviour. This effort led to the creation of two spin-off companies so far.
In recent years, the research has intensified on the static and dynamic behaviour of high strength steels and joints in metal structures, with an increasing attention to innovative forming and joining techniques for multi-material systems. To further advance the research in this field, additional expertise with respect to mixed numerical-experimental techniques for material characterization and forming and joining techniques is welcomed.



You develop a research programme at an international level in the domain of the vacancy. Attaining a high predictive accuracy in the numerical design of (metal) forming operations and joining by forming processes involves a complex engineering chain ranging from dedicated material testing, material modelling, material model selection and calibration strategy, process and mechanical performance modelling and advanced experimental validation. Within the research group MeM2P, the candidate will further develop and strengthen the following research lines:
1/ Increasing the predictive accuracy of numerical simulations for forming and joining by plastic deformation by developing phenomenological plasticity models tailored to the conditions that dominate the abovementioned processes. Development of test machines that enable to probe specific plastic material response.
2/ Development of fast, yet robust and accurate analytical, hybrid and inverse strategies to identify the governing material model parameters of existing and newly developed phenomenological plasticity models. Given MeM2P’s expertise in digital image correlation (DIC), a strong focus will be on further exploring the use of information-rich experiments using full-field heterogeneous deformation measurements and generic process-informed design of heterogeneous experiments.
3/ Development of numerical strategies to increase the predictive accuracy of forming and joining by forming process simulations in the context of multi-material design, including the mechanical behavior of the formed products and its joints under complex loading conditions. Special attention will be given to advanced model validation based on full field data.
You engage in targeted scientific research, resulting in PhD’s and publications that meet international standards and lead to broad international recognition.
You support or initiate a network of national and international companies through the valorisation of research results and by delivering industrial services, aimed at strengthening industrial innovation.
As part of your research programme, you develop (inter)national partnerships, within the academic world as well as with industrial partners.
You are able to acquire competitive funding, both project-based government funding as well as industrial funding.
You strive for excellence and thus contribute to the further development of the research group and the faculty.
You pay the required attention to the technology transfer and application of the results of your research in industry/government/society.


You provide high-quality education for both bachelor and master students in the field of material science and production technology, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. All professors are expected to teach a few basic undergraduate courses.
You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project through the supervision of student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and by acting as a supervisor of PhD students.
You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
Your teaching duties are determined in agreement and are based on your specific profile. The scope is limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty will also pay a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.


You are prepared to provide services to the scientific community, to society and to the university in function of the needs and your personal interests.
You maintain close contact with the local industry (both large suppliers and end users).
You play an active part in promoting the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days, networking events and fairs, …


You have a PhD in Engineering Science or Engineering Technology with an emphasis on materials and/or mechanical engineering and an evidenced knowledge of experimental mechanics, metal plasticity and modelling.
You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by your publications or by your research experience in industry. You have the ambition to contribute to the valorisation of research in industry and in society. International experience is an important advantage.
You have verifiable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience in targeted domain is an advantage.
You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership competencies in a university or industry context.
Proficiency in English is required.
The official 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 or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch, respectively English, to the required standard.


We offer 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 focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. In this regard, the university actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.
You will work at the KU Leuven Ghent Technology Campus, in a historic city with a 40-minute rail connection to Brussels, and about three hours train to Paris, London and Amsterdam.
Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the 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. At the end of this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as associate professor.
KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, …
To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact Prof. dr. ir. Martine Wevers, departmental chair of the Department of Materials Engineering (, +32 16 32 13 03) or Prof. dr. ir. Lieven De Strycker, campus chair of Ghent Technology Campus (, +32 9 265 87 12). For problems with online applying, please contact

Add to your application following documents in English (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 4 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 places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.

You can apply for this job no later than August 24, 2021 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

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

Contact Information

  • Professor Lieven De Strycker
    Ghent Technology Campus
    KU Leuven
    Gebroeders De Smetstraat 1
    Ghent 9000
  • +32 9 265 87 12


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