Professor in Mechatronics for Logistic Technology

Catholic University of Leuven





KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of KU Leuven, Ghent Technology Campus, in the area of logistic technology. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research record, with educational competences in the field of mechanical design and project-based learning, and strongly focussed on applied research in collaboration with industry. The successful candidate will be appointed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven. Research at the Department of Mechanical Engineering focuses on the main societal challenges: sustainability of energy supply, mobility, healthcare and industrial innovation. The department is involved in a large number of local, national and international research projects and is strongly linked to the valorization services of the university and with institutes for technology transfer on Flemish and European level. The department has about 50 professors and 400 total staff. The department is particularly active in spin-off creation. Our spin-offs include leading companies such as Materialise NV, Siemens Industry Software NV and ESTL NV. The research group of the department of mechanical engineering at the Ghent Technology Campus focuses on improving logistic processes. Therefore, new types of devices and machines are designed and developed. They lead to new logistic concepts and procedures. In our research, we work together intensively with other research groups on campus. The research group also has access to an extensive network of companies in the industry and in the logistics sector, both in the region and internationally The faculty of Engineering Technology organizes education in applied engineering programmes. It relies on an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and business world.




You will develop an applied research program for new types of logistic technology. Depending on your own interests and expertise, your own network and the existing network on campus, this program focuses on a specific logistics activity. In view of industrial relevance, it is recommended to integrate aspects such as mechanical design, automation, control engineering, data communication, software, ergonomics, maintenance, security, etc., again depending on your own interests and expertise.The R&D program preferably leads to automation and data communication concepts for innovative logistics equipment. Industry 4.0 provides many application opportunities for this, including appliances and machines that exchange data in real time with each other and with treated goods. Non-restrictive examples are: fast autonomous systems for loading trucks and carriers, palletizers for randomly mixed goods, smart goods-safes ("mailboxes" for goods), high-speed sorting systems suitable for fragile or orientation-sensitive products, autonomous distribution centers, etc.In your research you integrate new insights and research results from various domains of engineering science and technology. You bring the developed concepts to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) that allows the work field to directly convert it into sellable technology. To do this, you build prototypes with state-of-the art control and industrially relevant ways of data processing and communication. You pay attention to technology transfer to industry and to government.You set up partnerships inside and outside the department, inside and outside the university, and inside and outside Flanders.You are capable of acquiring competitive funding.You strive for excellence in your research and its valorization.You supervise PhDs and you acquire patents.


You ensure high-quality education within the programs of the Faculty of Engineering Technology - especially master level – at Ghent Technology Campus. These academic programs are aimed at educating engineers with a strong focus on industry-ready technological development. Your teaching activities take place mainly within the area of data communication, industrial automation, servo drives and robotics. They are determined in mutual consultation and based on your specific profile. All professors are expected to teach a few basic undergraduate courses. The first years of your appointment the amount of teaching activities will be limited. At least coaching of master theses and PhD students, as a promotor or co-promotor, will be part of it.

You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on active learning and research-based education and you make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.



You are prepared to provide services to the scientific community, to society and to the university, with particular focus on services to industry in the context of applied research and development.

You develop a strong network with industrial partners and in particular with the logistics sector.

You play an active role in promoting the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the industry sector by, for example, participating in information days and events.



You have a PhD in Engineering Technology, in Engineering Science or a related degree.

You have a strong research profile and/or relevant experience in data communication, industrial automation, servo drives and/or robotics and/or you have relevant industrial expertise in a specific sector of industry.

You are very committed to academic education.

You have organizational skills and a cooperative attitude. You also have leadership capacities.

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 your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to teach and to take part in meetings in Dutch. Before teaching courses in Dutch or in English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch or English to the required standard.



We are offering full-time employment in KU Leuven, known as research-intensive and internationally oriented university.You will get ample opportunities for creative realizations, interdisciplinary co-operation, international contacts and socially relevant challenges an inclusive, collaborative and diverse environment. You will also get space to build test setups and you will get some enthusiastic PhD students.

You will work mainly in Ghent, a historic and at the same time dynamic and vibrant city, in the center of Belgium with a 40-minute rail connection to Brussels and 60 minutes to Leuven. Paris, London and Amsterdam can be reached by train in ca. 3 hours.

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. If you are a junior researcher you will, in principle, be appointed as assistant tenure track professor for a period of 5 years. If your evaluation after this period is positive, you will be permanently appointed (or tenured) as an 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. Joris De Schutter (chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering), tel.: +32 16 32 24 79,
  • Prof.dr. ir. Lieven Destrycker (campus chair Technology Campus Ghent), tel.: +32 9 267 27 11,, +32 499 524 806

You can submit your application until XXXX, only through our online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, please send an email to

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 important 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 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.

You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2019 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

In your application, please refer to