PhD Position in Design of Automatic Food Intake Monitoring System Using Wearables and Smart Cutlery

Catholic University of Leuven


The research group M-Group (Mechatronics Group) of KU Leuven, and more specifically the lab Networked Embedded Systems, performs research on dependable network interactions between IoT-powered mechatronic devices. The M-Group research group is a multidisciplinary team of hardware and software engineers and doctoral researchers, with research fields in reliable and sustainable performance of systems where electrical energy, automation, electronics, signal processing and ICT play a role. The research group consists of 5 professors and 20 research assistants or PhD students and is based at the brand-new Bruges Campus. Here, the research team can make use of state-of-the-art research equipment and infrastructure to perform tests on embedded software or on communication devices. Furthermore, the available infrastructure allows the PhD students and research assistants to design and develop robust and dependable design techniques for hardware or software. The research group has been succesful in acquiring prestigious funding such as H2020, Marie Slodowska-Curie Actions and national funding (FWO, imec.ICON,...). For years, the research group maintains a close collaboration with other research groups from KU Leuven (imec.Distrinet, PMA,...). This position is in close collaboration with the research group e-Media ( and the University Hospital UZ Leuven.


Food intake monitoring is very important in the follow-up for patients.  Obviously, for patients suffering from eating disorders this information can help in finding patterns and providing data for dietary plans.  But also for patients with a different primary cause (e.g. cancer), the follow-up for food intake is very important in their therapy process. In this vacancy the PhD student will investigate and design how smart devices can be used to monitor food intake. In a previous project, a conceptual version of a prototype of a smart plate was developed and validated, however further investigation and development is needed to reliably monitor food intake.   This can be done by further developing the smart plate and by integrating different sensors.  The PhD candidate will investigate and design new solutions and optimise these solutions with respect to technological challenges (such as processing, energy consumption and wireless communication).  The aim of this project is to provide a minimal viable product (MVP) which will be tested in a real live setting.  Furthermore the project aims to take to first steps in bringing this to the market.  

For this vacancy, we are looking for an enthusiastic employee with ambitions to pursue a PhD in this topic who shows a dynamic and pro-active attitude towards research.  


For this vacancy, we are looking for an enthusiastic employee with ambitions to pursue a PhD in this topic who shows a dynamic and pro-active attitude towards research and industry.  

  • You have a Master Degree in Engineering, preferably Computer Science, Electronics or Mechatronics
  • You have a large interest in sensors, hardware and embedded software. Experience in hardware design and/or embedded programming is a great asset in this project or you are eager to learn this.
  • You show an affinity with healthcare and are interested in solutions for the challenges of future healthcare
  • You are creative in finding solutions for problems and are able to share this vision
  • You show pro-active attitude into communication with other research partners and care institutions
  • You are willing to perform in-situ measurements in real contexts
  • You have a critical mindset and are able to analyze research results in a comprehensive way
  • You can work autonomous and independent with regular updates of your progress to your supervisors


  • The ability to work in a state-of-the-art topic in a brand new campus at Bruges with state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories
  • A young and dynamic work environment where human contacts and professionalism are very important.  KU Leuven is one of the world's most innovative universities.
  • Building up a network of industrial partners and consultancy companies in the sector.  The PhD project is also a collaboration with a European consortium on food intake monitoring.
  • You will start with a one-year contract, which is typically done. After a positive evaluation, funding is available to continue your PhD.
  • Opportunity to start PhD research in the Faculty of Engineering Technology at KU Leuven, to obtain a PhD after a successful trajectory
  • Other working conditions can be found at


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Hans Hallez, tel.: +32 50 66 48 38, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Bart Vanrumste, tel.: +32 16 32 64 07, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than December 24, 2020 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: Brugge
  • Apply before: December 24, 2020
  • Tags: Industriële Ingenieurswetenschappen

In your application, please refer to