KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy (in the senior academic staff) in mechanical engineering at its campus in Geel. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research record, with educational competencies within the field of mechanical engineering including automation and project-based learning, and strongly focussed on applied research in collaboration with industry. The appointment will be made within 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 at Flemish and European level. The department has about 50 professors and 400 total staff. Its spin-offs include leading companies such as Materialise NV and Siemens Industry Software NV. The research group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering on the campus in Geel is, among others, active in two areas of application: the food industry, agriculture and horticulture on the one hand, and thermal energy systems on the other. The campus can rely on a long tradition of practice-based research and services (both regionally and European). As a result, high-quality research infrastructure is available, as well as an extensive international network, connections with companies and non-profit organizations and a supportive working environment. 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.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering sees great potential in developing research activities in the field of automation and robotics for the agro-food industry at the campus in Geel. There is a clear complementarity and synergy both with the research departments in life sciences that are already active on the campus and in Heverlee (Department of Biosystems) and with research groups of the department on other campuses. There are also many opportunities from the industrial network in the food industry and in agriculture and horticulture. At the same time, there is a great need to supplement and strengthen the already existing expertise in life sciences with expertise from the Mechanical Engineering Department. This vacancy is part of the effort to meet these needs. You will therefore be able to count on broad support and expertise in the development of your own research activities, and it is the explicit intention to strive for complementarity with already active research departments.
Research in the field of automation and robotics for the agro-food industry is necessary to guarantee efficient and at the same time high-quality food production in the future. Examples of research topics in this area of application are:
• The design of mechatronic systems for automation and optimal control of processes with a high variability of raw materials and products with specific physicochemical characteristics (visco-elasticity, non-newtonian fluids, ...) and the need to be able to respond flexibly.
• The mechatronic design and control of machines and robots for processing food, both in bulk and by the piece, taking into account dynamic behaviour, extreme requirements in terms of hygiene, easy cleaning and maintenance.
We are looking for candidates who have already built up expertise in the field of mechatronic aspects of automation and robotics and who want to further develop their know-how in the agro-food field. Both candidates with a senior as well as a junior profile will be considered for this vacancy. You will develop a research programme at an international level and with attention for industrial relevance specifically in the field of automation and robotics for the agro-food industry.
In your research, you will creatively integrate new insights and research results from various fields of engineering. You pay attention to the valorisation of your research results for government and industry. To this end, you further develop the findings and concepts into a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) that can be directly converted into marketable technology by industry.
You set up partnerships within and outside the department, within and outside the university, within and outside Flanders.
You strive for excellence in your research.
You are able to competitively obtain both project-based government funding and bilateral industrial funding.
You publish in international journals and professional literature and supervise doctorates.
You provide high-quality education to both Bachelor's and Master's students within the domain of mechanical engineering, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. The teaching assignment includes courses in the areas of mechanical design, control engineering and automation. All professors are also expected to teach a number of basic subjects. The Faculty of Engineering Technology is a multi-campus faculty. The different campuses strive for an optimal and efficient distribution of teaching assignments. Newly appointed professors can count on support both in teaching and in the development of teaching materials.
You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project through the supervision of student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and by acting as a promotor of PhD students.
You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education. You make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
Your teaching duties are determined in agreement and are based on your specific profile. The scope is limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty will also pay a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.
You are prepared to provide services to the scientific community, to society and to the university. In particular you are willing to provide services to the government and to industry in the context of applied research. To this end, you maintain close contact with the (local) industry and you keep yourself informed about both scientific state-of-the-art and industrial state-of-practice.
You play an active part in advertising the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the wider professional field: you actively participate in open days, networking events and fairs,...
You have a PhD in Engineering Technology or in Engineering Science or a related degree. You have experience in the field of automation and/or mechanical engineering and robotics (e.g. through the subject of your doctoral thesis, research projects and publications).
You have a strong research track record in the discipline and/or relevant industrial experience. International experience and industrial experience are important assets. You have a vision on research and the possible synergies with ongoing research on the campus in Geel and within the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biosystems.
You have a vision on providing high quality academic education in your field. Teaching experience is a plus.
You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership competencies in a university or industry context.
Proficiency in English is required.
The official language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings.
Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch, respectively English, to the required standard.
We offer full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment and with a large degree of freedom.
KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. It is highly focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. In this regard, the university actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research in a collaborative and inclusive environment.
Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed 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 (i.e. tenured) as an associate professor.
You mainly work at the KU Leuven Geel Campus. This campus is one of the operational sites of the KU Leuven multi-campus Faculty of Engineering Technology. The campus is focused on technological and industry-oriented training and research. Other campuses can also use your expertise for teaching assignments.
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%.
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, …
For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:
• Prof. Dr. ir. David Moens, vice-chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (firstname.lastname@example.org, +32-16-372879)
• Prof. Dr. ir. Paul Leroux, campus chair of Campus Geel (email@example.com, +32-14-721306)
Add to your application following documents (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 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 on leadership (maximum 1 page).
KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.
KU Leuven wants to create an environment in which all talents can develop to their full potential, regardless of gender, age, cultural origin, nationality or disability.
It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented in the university to apply. If you have any questions about accessibility or support options, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.
You can apply for this job no later than September 07, 2021 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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.Continue reading
|Title||Professor Mechanical Engineering: Agro Food Automation and Robotics|
|Job location||Oude Markt 13, 3000 Leuven|
|Published||June 9, 2021|
|Application deadline||September 7, 2021|
|Job types||Professor,   Assistant / Associate Professor,   Tenure Track  |
|Fields||Mechatronics,   Industrial Engineering,   Agricultural Engineering,   Biosystems Engineering,   Control Systems Engineering,   Robotics,   Mechanical Engineering,   Mechanics  |