Professor Mechanical Engineering in agro-food automation and robotics

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.

We are looking for...

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 of providing high-quality academic education in your field. Teaching experience is a plus.
You possess organizational 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 an 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.


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:

• Prof. Dr. ir. David Moens, vice-chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering ([email protected], +32-16-372879)
• Prof. Dr. ir. Paul Leroux, campus chair of Campus Geel ([email protected], +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).

If you have any questions about accessibility or support options, please contact us at [email protected].

You can apply for this job no later than July 12, 2022 via the online application tool :


Researcher/PhD position

Environmental Ammonia Emission Assessment from Field-applied Manure and Fertilizer

We are looking for...

Your dedication to our mission!

Are you interested in contributing to the characterization and mitigation of ammonia emissions from agricultural fields? We are looking for an organized, dedicated PhD candidate to measure, assess, and characterize ammonia emissions from fertilizer and manure applications as well as grazing sources. We have an interesting PhD position for you at Wageningen Research, Plant Science Group and Environmental Science Group.

Our research aims to understand and improve the efficacy of the application process, increase crop yields, nutrient efficiency, food security and food safety, and reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment. In this PhD, you will contribute to new knowledge. This knowledge is required to understand and respond to temporal and spatial variability of ammonia emissions following field-applied manure and fertilizers (including manure deposits from grazing), to optimize systems to produce food sustainable in harmony with nature.

Part of the work is in close collaboration with EU research colleagues to develop and underpin solid, scientifically based knowledge about ammonia emissions following field-applied manure and fertilizers, including grazing. This knowledge is based on collection, management, and processing data and development and optimization of models, including field- and lab experiments and research methodology development. The research results in scientific underpinning of the emissions, followed by direct input to farmers, assessment and environmental authorities, but may also help as inputs to a new generation of field-applied manure management including grazing management. You will work in this field within a multidisciplinary team of scientists within WUR.

For more information about this position and to apply, contact: [email protected].



Researcher/PhD position

Modelling and Control for Sustainable Dairy Farming

We are looking for...

Are you that enthusiastic researcher that likes to work on modelling and control, and apply it to improve processes in agriculture and food production? Then you might be the PhD-candidate we are looking for!

This PhD is part of the Synergia project. Synergia contributes to the UN Sustainability Development Goals for the environment, labour, and society. Synergia goes beyond current precision agriculture (PA) and precision livestock farming (PLF) and is developing the new concept of ‘Technology-4-Ecology-based farming’ (T4E) where biological/ecological principles in farming lead the development of new farming systems, and the required technological knowledge, principles and tools. Our multi-disciplinary team with biology, ecology, agronomy, technology and social science backgrounds, will explore how current and future farming technologies can enable and support truly ecology-based farming systems.

The aim of this PhD project is to employ the latest sensing and actuating technology in an optimal way, by designing a model-based strategy to control feed intake of cows. Controlling feed intake on a herd level is too coarse; there is a lot of variation between cow feed intake response. For example, some cows are lactating, and others not. The feed intake should be tailored to serve the needs each cow individually: maintaining a healthy internal energy balance, while minimizing harmful emissions of phosphate, nitrogen, and methane.

For more information about this position, please contact Assistant professor S (Simon) van Mourik [email protected]

For more information about the procedure, please contact [email protected]

Do you want to apply?



This vacancy will be listed up to and including 20 May 2022.





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