Professor In Mechatronics For Logistics Technology

KU Leuven


The KU Leuven Faculty of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering have a full-time academic vacancy for a professor in the field of logistics technology. The Faculty of Engineering Technology has six campuses throughout Flanders. This academic vacancy is intended for the campus in Ghent. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research track, with educational competencies in the field of mechanical design and project-based learning, and with a strong focus on applied research in collaboration with industry. Research at 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 local, national and international research projects and is closely associated with the university's valorization services and with technology transfer institutions at the Flemish and European level. The department has around 50 professors and 400 employees in total. Our spin-offs include leading companies such as Materialize NV, Siemens Industry Software NV and ESTL NV. The research group of the mechanical engineering department on the Ghent campus focuses on improving logistics processes. That is why new types of devices and machines are creatively designed and developed. They lead to new logistics concepts and procedures. In our research we collaborate 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 organizes courses in applied engineering programs. It depends on an extensive national and international network, both in academia and in business.


You develop a research program at the international level for the development of innovative logistics technology. Depending on your own interests and expertise, your own networks and the existing network on campus, this program focuses on a specific logistics activity. With regard to industrial relevance, it is again appropriate aspects such as mechanical design, automation, control technology, data communication, software, ergonomics, maintenance, safety, etc., depending on your interests and expertise.

The research program preferably leads to concepts for automation and data communication with future-oriented logistics equipment. Industry 4.0 offers numerous opportunities for this, including devices and machines that exchange data with each other and with the treated goods in real time. Non-limiting examples are fast autonomous systems for loading transport vehicles, palletising machines for various mixed goods, smart goods safes (“mailboxes” for goods), fast sorting systems suitable for sensitive or orientation-sensitive products, autonomous distribution centers, etc.

In your research you integrate new insights and research results from various fields of engineering in a creative way. You develop the developed concepts into a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) that can be directly converted into commercializable technology by the professional field. For this you build prototypes with state-of-the-art control and with an industrially relevant way of data processing and communication. You also pay attention to the further valorization of your research results for government and business.

You set up partnerships within and outside the department, within and outside the university, within and outside Flanders. 

You are able to obtain competitive financing.

You strive for excellence in your research and its valorisation.

You supervise doctorates and provide patents. 


You provide high-quality education within the training programs of the Faculty of Engineering Technology - mainly at master level - at Technology Campus Ghent. These programs have a strong focus on operational technological development.

Your educational activities are within the domain of industrial data communication, industrial automation, servomotors and robotics. They are determined in consultation on the basis of your specific profile and are limited in size during the first years of your appointment.

All professors are expected to also teach a number of basic subjects.

One fixed aspect is the supervision as supervisor or co-supervisor of doctoral students and master's students.

You develop your education in accordance with KU Leuven's vision of activating and research-based education and you make use of the opportunities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.


You are prepared to provide scientific, social and internal services. You are particularly prepared to provide services to the business community in the context of applied research and development.

You maintain close contact with industry and the logistics sector.

You play an active role in profiling the Faculty of Engineering Technology to future students and the broad field by participating in information days and events.


You have a doctorate in industrial engineering, engineering or a related degree.

You have a strong research file in industrial data communication, industrial automation, servomotors and / or robotics and / or relevant industrial experience in a certain industry sector.

You have a strong interest in academic education.

You have organizational skills and you are collegial.

You have managerial capacities.

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 within KU Leuven, known as an innovative and internationally oriented university. You get ample opportunities for creative achievements, interdisciplinary cooperation, international contacts and socially relevant challenges. You get a few motivated doctoral students and space for building test setups.

You mainly work in Ghent, a historic and at the same time dynamic and lively city in the center of Belgium, with a 40-minute rail connection to Brussels, and about 3 hours to Paris, London and Amsterdam.

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.

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. ir.Joris De Schutter (chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering), tel .: +32 16 32 24 79,  
  • Prof. ir. Lieven Destrycker (campus chair Technology Campus Ghent), tel .: +32 9 267 27 11,, +32 499 524806

You can apply for XXXX only 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 KU Leuven 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 30/09/2019 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

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