Professor In Machine Design, Automation And Process Control

KU Leuven


The Faculty of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven have a full-time academic vacancy for a professor in the field of machine building, automation and process control. The Faculty of Engineering Technology has six campuses spread across Flanders. This vacancy is intended for the campus in Geel. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research file, with educational competence in the field of mechanical design and project-based education and with a great affinity for applied research in collaboration with industry. The research of the Department of Mechanical Engineering focuses on the most important societal challenges: sustainability of energy supply, mobility, healthcare and industrial innovation. The department is involved in a large number of regional, national and international research projects and is closely associated with the university's valorization services and with research institutions for technology transfer at the Flemish and European level. The department has around 50 professors and 400 employees. The department is particularly active in spin-off creation. Many of these spin-offs are technological leaders in their field, such as Materialize NV and Siemens Industry Software NV. The research group of the Mechanical Engineering Department on the campus in Geel focuses on two areas of application: the food industry and agriculture and horticulture, and the thermal energy systems on the other. In both domains, the campus can rely on a long tradition of practice-based research and services (both regional and European). A sound research infrastructure is therefore already available, as well as an extensive international network, connections with companies and non-profit organizations and a supportive working environment. The research to be developed will further strengthen the position of the campus in these areas of application and will realize additional valorisation in these and related sectors. The Faculty of Engineering Technology offers education in application-oriented engineering courses. The faculty therefore relies on an extensive national and international network, both in academia and in industry.


Your research focuses on advanced mechanical engineering technology (machine building, automation and process control). Taking into account the current spearheads of the research on the campus in Geel, applications are preferably situated in the food industry, agriculture and horticulture or in the thermal energy systems sector.

Examples of research topics in these areas of application are:

  • Mechanical design of machines taking into account dynamic behavior, extreme hygiene requirements, easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • Optimal control of processes with a large variability of raw materials and products with typical material behavior (viscoelasticity, non-Newtonian liquids, etc.) and the need to be able to respond flexibly to this.
  • Optimal control systems to exploit available thermal energy and integrate it into global energy solutions.
  • Correlation-based models for optimization and improved integration of thermal systems.

Other research topics in machine building, automation or process control are of course also possible.

There are clear possibilities for valorizing this research in collaboration with the research groups on campus or in the department.

In the near future at least one additional professor will be recruited for this research domain.


  • You develop a research program at an international level within one or more of the aforementioned application domains.
  • You work out an international partnership around your research program, both within academia and with regional and international industry.
  • You work closely with the research units of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and campus Geel, and you also establish partnerships outside these entities.
  • You strive for excellence in your research and thus contribute to the further development of the campus and the department.
  • You are able to acquire competitive project-based government financing and bilateral industrial financing.
  • You publish in international journals and professional literature and supervise doctorates.
  • You pay attention to the valorization for government and business in applied research.


The training programs of the faculty of industrial engineering are aimed at training engineers with a strong focus on industry-oriented technological development. The teaching assignment is in the bachelor in industrial sciences, the master in industrial sciences: electromechanics and the master in industrial sciences: energy, mainly on campus Geel. This educational assignment comprises courses in the domains of mechanical design, control and control engineering and automation. In addition, supervising students in the context of bachelor and master theses and doctorates is also part of the assignment. Other campuses can also use your expertise to provide education.

You develop your education in accordance with the vision of KU Leuven on activating and research-based education and with a clear commitment to the quality of the study program as a whole. You make use of the opportunities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.

Your teaching assignment is determined in consultation on the basis of your specific profile. It is limited in size in the first years of your appointment. In your further career too, the faculty pays a lot of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.


You are prepared to provide scientific, social and internal services. You are particularly prepared to provide services to the government and industry in the context of applied research. That is why you maintain close contact with the (local) professional field and you stay informed of both the scientific state of affairs and industrial practice.

You play an active role in profiling the faculty of industrial engineering to future students and the broad professional field, for example by participating in information days and events.


You have a Ph.D. in Industrial Sciences, Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences, or a related degree. You have experience in the field of machine construction and automation (eg via the subject of your doctoral thesis, research projects and publications).

You have a strong research file in the field and / or relevant industrial experience. International experience and industrial experience are important plus points. You have the ambition to contribute to the valorization of research within industry and society. You have a vision on research and the possible synergy and compatibility with current research on campus and at the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

You have a vision of providing quality academic education in your field. Education experience is a plus.

You have organizational and managerial capacities in a university or industrial context and you have a collegial attitude.

A good knowledge of English is required. The administrative language of KU Leuven is Dutch. If you know little or no Dutch at recruitment, KU Leuven provides a training offer that must allow you to participate in board meetings. Before teaching a teaching assignment in Dutch or English, you are offered the opportunity to acquire the required knowledge of Dutch or English. Acquire English.


We offer full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment and with a high degree of freedom.

KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university has a strong inter- and multidisciplinary focus and strives for international excellence. To this end, it actively cooperates with its research partners at home and abroad. She offers her students an academic education based on high-level scientific research.

Depending on your file and qualifications, you will be appointed or appointed to one of the degrees of the independent academic staff: teacher, senior lecturer, professor or full professor. Junior researchers are in principle appointed as tenure track teachers for a period of 5 years; afterwards, with a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed as senior lecturers.

For your research and teaching assignments you mainly work on the campus in Geel, one of the operational sites of the KU Leuven multi-campus Faculty of Engineering, with a focus on technological and industry-oriented training and research. Other campuses can also use your expertise for teaching assignments. A starting fund for the further development of research and the attraction of PhD students is provided.

KU Leuven is well equipped to welcome foreign professors and their families and offers practical support in the areas of immigration and administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, career coaching partner, ... To facilitate scientific integration and research in the first phase a start-up financing of 100,000 euros is offered to new professors who have no substantial other financing and who are recruited for at least 50%.



For more information about the content of the function you can contact:

  • Prof. Dr. ir. Joris De Schutter, Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering, (, + 32-16-322479)
  • Prof. Dr ir. Paul Leroux, campus president campus Geel, (paul.leroux @, + 32-14-721306)

You can apply until ?? ... 2019, exclusively through our online application application. If you encounter problems when applying online, you can send an email to

Add the following sections to your application in the English language (more info can be found on the KULeuven job site):

  • a biosketch in which you demonstrate your added value as an academic for the core tasks of research, education and services in your past career and for your future activities (maximum 2 pages);
  • a file about your five most important publications or realizations;
  • an extensive CV (including a complete publication list and, if applicable, a portfolio of your important projects);
  • a research plan with a focus on the development of a research line and associated research team with an eye for collaboration with fellow researchers within the employment entity (maximum 4 pages);
  • your vision of academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
  • your contribution to service activities (internal representation through membership in councils and administrative bodies, contributions to society from education and research, outreach and science communication) (maximum 1 page);
  • your vision of leadership (maximum 1 page).

The KU Leuven pursues an equal opportunities and diversity policy. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented in the university to apply.

You can apply for this vacancy up to and including 19/08/2019 via our online application application
KU Leuven wants to create an environment in which all talents can develop to the maximum, regardless of gender, age, cultural origin, nationality or disability. If you have any questions regarding accessibility or support options, you can contact us via

In your application, please refer to