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Job ID: 161024

KU Leuven

Date Posted Jun. 21, 2021
University KU Leuven
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
Department Department of Chemical Engineering
Application Deadline Sep. 30, 2021
Position Start Date Oct. 1, 2022
  • Assistant Professor
    Associate Professor
  • Chemical/Petroleum

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Chemical Engineering, Division Chemical Reactor Engineering and Safety (CREaS), there is a full-time academic vacancy in the area of Chemical Reactor Engineering: Simulation, Optimization and Process Safety on campus Arenberg.

We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competence within the field of Chemical Reactor Engineering.
To accomplish its mission of exploiting and enhancing (bio)chemical reactor processes and process safety, CREaS integrates expertise, methodologies and techniques from different (bio)chemical reactor and process engineering domains, going from macro- and microscopic analysis of (bio)chemical processes, via modelling and design, to process optimization.

The CREaS Research division is embedded within the Department of Chemical Engineering and, its campus Leuven based cohort, is housed in the Chem&Tech facility, which is a recently built high-tech centre for chemistry and chemical engineering research. Moreover, in 2021 a brand new didactical building (Quadrivium), just across, is inaugurated which hosts new didactics lab and pilot hall spaces, together with PC, seminar and breakout rooms.

The department has very strong links with the chemical industry throughout its industrial advisory board, research collaborations, structural embedment in its Chemical Engineering curriculum and its Safety Engineering curriculum. The latter is coordinated by the Chair in Safety Engineering, installed by essenscia, which is the federation for the chemistry and life sciences industry. The chemical industry is a very prominent sector in Belgium and Europe. The fifth largest chemical industry cluster worldwide is located in the port of Antwerp and Europe is the second largest chemical producer in the world.

You are expected to
develop a fundamental, interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research programme that is line with the ambition of the industry to develop (i) alternative processes that use safer products (compliant with REACH) and to develop (ii) inherently safe® processes by design and operation (focusing on process safety);
have a strong competence in process simulation, monitoring (possibly including data analytics) and optimization as they are key tools for the abovementioned objectives;
apply this advanced computational research on pilot to industrial scale installations;
strive for excellence in research and thus provide a contribution to the continued development and the international character of the research groups and departments;
publish at the highest scientific level, acquire resources for fundamental and applied research, develop international collaborations and supervise PhDs at an international level;
build a strong interaction with the chemical industry through bilateral research collaborations and through (inter)regional, national and European research projects;
initiate research collaborations within the department and research facilities, involving developments in process intensification, separation processes, and product design at lab-scale.

You ensure high-quality education, in particular in educational programmes at the bachelor and master level in Chemical Engineering. The potential of teaching core courses in the Chemical Engineering and Safety Engineering curriculum is combined with teaching that is closely related to the specific research expertise, with a clear commitment for the quality of the program as a whole. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university through the supervision of master theses and as a promoter 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 educational professionalisation offered by the faculty and the university.

As academic staff of KU Leuven, you play an important role in society through your research and teaching, but also, in function of the needs and your personal interests, through your participation in the public debate, contributions to policy-supporting research projects for governments from the local to the European level, and participation in research-for-development projects. You take up an active role in councils, educational committees, working groups of the university and in particular, of the division, department and faculty you will belong to.

You have a PhD in (Engineering) Sciences preferably Chemical Engineering or equivalent.
You have a strong research profile in the field of interest. The quality of your research is proven by publications in prominent international journals. International research experience or industrial experience is an important advantage.
If you have recently been admitted to the degree of doctor, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references.
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.
The official language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English.
For this position, it is expected that you are able to teach courses in Dutch or in English from the start (native or C1 level CEFR).
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. Paula Moldenaers, tel.: +32 16 32 23 59, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Kristel Bernaerts, tel.: +32 16 32 26 78, 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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