PhD Position in Civil Engineering

Catholic University of Leuven


(ref. BAP-2023-671)
The Faculty of Engineering Technology, located on Campus De Nayer (Sint-Katelijne-Waver), and the Department of Civil Engineering of the Science Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, invite applications for a PhD Position to strengthen the Materials and Structures research group. We are looking for ae dynamic and motivated person (m/f) to perform research and prepare a PhD in the domain of Hybrid Structures, to support the activities of the research group "Materials and Structures" and teaching in the Bachelor and Master of Science in Engineering Technology - Civil Engineering.


General introduction

The position is located on Campus De Nayer in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, which is one of the operational sites of the Faculty of Engineering Technology.  The faculty is a multi-campus faculty following the integration of the engineering technology educational programs of the KU Leuven.  The faculty has its own teaching, research and doctoral profile.  
The appointee is respectively a member of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of KU Leuven because of his/her activities and teaching assignments.
To achieve the goal of sustainable construction, timber-concrete-steel hybrid structures is a unique solution by using the right materials at the right places with optimized structural design.  To facilitate more realizations of hybrid timber-based structures, research is needed in answering scientific questions on understanding mechanical behaviors of timber and timber-concrete-steel composite elements as well as in providing practical solutions on the system and building component scale.  The De Nayer campus is looking for a PhD student that should conduct research in the field of timber-based hybrid structures focusing on innovative systems and products.  The candidate will be working under the guidance of Prof. dr. ir. Lin Wan-Wendner (assistant professor tenure track at the Civil Engineering Department), active in the field of Structural Engineering and Infrastructure Materials.  The research will be achieved in close collaboration with other entities of the Civil Engineering Department.
The researcher is expected to:
  • Do numerical and experimental scientific research using state-of-the-art tools and equipment
  • Be able to work independently, accurately and methodically
  • Present his/her results during regular internal and/or external meetings
  • Write scientific papers in international recognized journals, and present results during scientific conferences
  • Apply for external funding
  • Have proven academic basis for the envisaged research topics.
The successful candidate will support teaching activities in the Bachelor and Master of Science in Engineering Technology - Construction Engineering.  The appointee shall also be willing to guide master thesis.
Depending on the evolution during the offered PhD trajectory, it is also possible that the student will need to support consultancy activities.


The position is open to applicants with a master degree in Engineering or Engineering Technology (preferably in civil engineering).

Qualified candidates:
  • Have proficient grades (at least distinction in the Master's degree);
  • have a strong interest in multidisciplinary research;
  • have interest in finite element modelling, numerical methods, full-scale testing, structural behavior of timber-concrete-steel hybrid structures
  • are motived, open-minded, have the ability to work in a team, and eager for international mobility;
  • very good knowledge of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential; knowledge of Dutch is an asset;
  • are flexible, and have good organizational skills.


We offer a fulltime employment for up to 4 years.  You will work as a doctoral student in a stimulating and challenging work environment with a high degree of flexibility and autonomy.

At KU Leuven, the main teaching language is Dutch, while general communication for research is in English.  The appointee must accept the necessary mobility required for fulfilling his/her teaching and research assignments.
KU Leuven pursues a policy of equal opportunity and diversity.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Ann Van Gysel, tel.: +32 15 68 82 20, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Lin Wan-Wendner, tel.: +32 15 68 80 77, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than November 03, 2023 via the
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
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Sint-Katelijne-Waver
  • Apply before: November 3, 2023
  • Tags: Industriële Ingenieurswetenschappen
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In your application, please refer to