48 Fully Funded PhD Programs at KU Leuven, Belgium

Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for PhD positions – Fully Funded PhD Programs in Europe? KU Leuven, Belgium inviting application for funded PhD Programs or fully funded PhD Scholarship. KU Leuven is one of the largest university in the world with thousands of employees, students, and research scientists are involved in the innovation of science and technology daily.

KU Leuven has huge a campus in Belgium and widely known as for its contribution in top notch education and research. The contribution of KU Leuven is not only limited to natural sciences and engineering but it also offers high quality research as well as higher education in bio-medical sciences, social sciences, humanities, psychology, education, architecture etc.

1. PhD position on under-constrained end-effector path following

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This project will be carried out as a starting grant for a PhD project within ACRO, the research group on Automation, Computer vision and Robotics, situated on Campus Diepenbeek of the Faculty of Engineering Technology at KU Leuven. ACRO performs research on vision-based and model-based automation, human-robot collaboration, product manipulation and robotic grippers, collision-free trajectory generation and navigation, and (semi-)autonomous assembly and disassembly. This research is performed in close collaboration with industry, as ACRO focuses on the translation of fundamental research into prototypes with a higher Technology Readiness Level. These technologies have a wide application domain ranging from manufacturing, assembly, logistics, agriculture, healthcare, construction, domestic up to end-of-life-treatment and nuclear environments.

Last Application Date: August 22, 2022

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2. Advanced process analytics for innovative RCF biorefining

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The overall objective of this research project is to create a more fundamental understanding of the chemistry of the RCF biorefinery depolymerization process (KU Leuven) and the most important factors controlling the lignin product quality output. This fundamental understanding will be achieved by combining KU Leuven unique biorefinery expertise producing novel lignin products and the in-house analytics of them, and the advanced analytical techniques at University Maastricht. Indeed, it is a major objective of this research project (Maastricht University) to develop advanced mass spectrometry-based methodologies to profile the RCF lignin oligomers, able to separate and quantify the high number of structural isomers. Therefore, next state-of-the-art ion mobility spectrometry technologies will be employed. Combination of the complementary expertise’s of biomass conversion, chemical engineering and process analytics will enable a highly improved and more detailed insight in the effective and efficient depolymerization of lignin oil to valuable biobased chemicals.

Last Application Date: September 8, 2022

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3. PhD:Analytical & Programming Efficiency in Geotechnical Engineering Applications

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This project aims toproduce software tools for novel solutions for a range of complex dynamicSoil-Structure-Interaction (SSI) problems, by developing a step-change in theway software for SSI is implemented. The practicing geotechnical community usestypically commercial software which can be computationally demanding. Dependingon the expertise of the users and the level of complexity of the problem, suchsimulations can fuse uncertainty in the design and cause schedule delays, whenthe design team tries to troubleshoot heavy simulations. On the other hand,simplistic methods fail to capture dynamic effects which govern the response ofcomplex foundations. Open source advanced models which are translated byresearch groups into software, have experienced limited integration intoengineering practice: mainly due to not well-documented software and a lack ofprotocol of testing code. Beyond the merit of deriving elegant and insightfulsemi-closed-form solutions, this doctoral projects targets promoting a criticalattitude towards software development and will contribute to the establishmentof a culture for code verification in SSI to generate software which canreplicate and reproduce results.

Last Application Date: September 5, 2022

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4. CFD modeling of airflow and spray distribution in plant structures

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The aim of crop spraying is to accurately place the correct amount of plant protection products on the intended target thereby assuring a healthy crop growth and yield. However, due to different crop and environmental conditions a significant amount of spray may not deposit properly on the target crop and can lead to environmental losses or human health concerns. Optimizing the spraying process involves a continuous balance between maximizing biological efficacy, and minimizing environmental pollution and residues. To aid such optimization, you will develop Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to predict the complex interaction between the various factors and flow phenomena involved in spraying for better control and optimization of spray applications. The research will focus to reveal the spray flow processes over the real 3D crop architecture. You will explore existing and new spray application methods for optimizing target deposition on different relevant crops while minimizing losses. The model will be validated and used in this PhD research to aid the agricultural sector in assuring a healthy food supply from field crops. Finally, a decision support system is developed that can be used by farmers to verify the effects of spray applications.

Last Application Date: September 15, 2022

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5. Heat stress increase under climate change and adaptation potential in Belgium

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Increase in heat stress is one of the key challenges associated to climate change. With temperatures in Belgium now having exceeded 40 degrees Celsius, insight in how these extremes will evolve is paramount. Moreover, the need for adaptation measures like greenery and adapted building materials is evident. To study heat stress increase and adaptation potential, this project will adopt kilometer-scale regional climate modelling that enables to distinguish between urban, peri-urban and rural areas. Use will be made of a novel statistical-dynamical downscaling method, tailored to better represent heat stress events. The results will support stakeholders in assessing the impact of adaptation and city planning measures on local heat stress during extreme heat waves. The project contributes to the Belgian national adaptation plan which includes the production of Belgian climate scenarios as one of its key actions.

Last Application Date: August 31, 2022

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6. PhD Position in Optical oxygen mapping in porous biomaterials

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Many biological materials have a porous structure with open spaces distributed over a (semi)solid matrix. Especially for respiring biological tissues, pores are a key element in the supply and removal of gasses such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. Nondestructive quantification of these internal gasses is challenging. Gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy (GASMAS) is a novel optical technique for measuring gas concentrations in porous materials. As both the gas concentration and the path length through the gas in a porous medium are unknown, GASMAS results are typically reported as equivalent path lengths. The first step in this research will be to overcome the issue of an unknown path length. This will allow to determine absolute oxygen or water vapor concentrations inside the biomaterial together with its (optical) porosity. However, such measurements yield average values, whereas biological porous materials often exhibit internal gradients. Information on these gradients is vital, as they are closely linked to gas transport, respiration processes and the occurrence of gas-related disorder such as hypoxia. Therefore, this research aims at taking GASMAS beyond the state of the art by embedding our GASMAS system in a tomography setup and elaborate reconstruction algorithms to enable tomographic mapping of the gas concentration gradients throughout the material.

Last Application Date: September 5, 2022

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7. Biomoleculemapping and identification via optical microscopy techniques (BioMAP)

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The optical mapping ofbiomolecules is an important topic in modern biology and medicine. The ability to capturesignatures from native microbial DNA molecules (without amplification orlibrary preparation) or features connected to biomolecules associated withdiseases enables a new way to analyze biological specimens. This project isdevoted to exploring the enhancement of the optical response of a biomoleculeresiding near a thin film (graphene/2D dichalcogenides), a metallic substrate,or a dielectric surface. The general physicalmechanism is described, in classical terms, as an energy transfer/interactionprocess involving near-fields that could change the excitation mechanisms andthe emissive properties of the biomolecules. The induced energy transfer/interactioncan be used as a means to do confocal-based biomolecule mapping, either viafluorescence collection or analyzing the time-resolved response in a pump-probeexperiment. Further options include using near-field probes. The actualimplementation will make use of solid-state nanopore microscopy for biomoleculecharacterization.

Last Application Date: August 23, 2022

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8. PhD position – Smart ecosystem monitoring through automated insect recognition combining novel sensing technologies with artificial intelligence

Summary of Doctoral Project:

In the MeBioS division, basic research has been conducted to develop insect recognition sensor devices. We specialize primarily on image and wingbeat signature analysis, with an emphasis on insect pests in the fruit and vegetable producing industry. To this end, we collaborate with several partners in Flanders and abroad to bring together all required expertise. We have already demonstrated that similar species may be identified under laboratory conditions. Now, we want to conduct research on (1) more advanced setups that could potentially improve classification results; (2) robust systems, both from a hardware and software perspective, that enable accurate measurements in the field; (3) data analytics that combine information from multiple sources; and (4) the foundation for a remotely accessible sensor network.

Last Application Date: September 6, 2022

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9. Microwave-microfluidic integrated devices and systems for tackling interdisciplinary quantitative experiments (MISTIQUE)

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Microwave concepts are increasingly being used in microfluidic devices to advance detection, monitoring and actuation of liquid mixtures in lab-on-a-chip applications thanks to the pioneering work that demonstrated capabilities of microwave sensing and heating. This exploratory work has demystified microwave techniques to the life science community, convinced the optical-based community into advantages of microwaves, and identified limitations of microwave sensing and heating. Therefore, we believe now is the right time to bring further this research field on both the device and lagging system level, and comprehensively investigate simultaneous microwave sensing and heating on nL and μL volumes. This can be done by 1) using microwave-microfluidic devices (MMD) optimized from the multiphysics aspect for multi-frequency and multi-temperature sensing and heating, 2) applying signal waveforms on MMDs that are optimized (power and frequency modulation) for a given application, 3) co-designing the microwave measurement system (MMS) with MMDs.

Last Application Date: September 15, 2022

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10. PhD position in Heterogeneous catalysis for CO2 conversion

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The research group of Prof. Michiel Dusselier is looking for a motivated student to start a PhD taking part in a research program dedicated to sustainable heterogeneous catalysis in the context of CO2 conversion. The PhD researcher will work on two kinds of catalytic CO2 conversion strategies, with the aim of reducing overall CO2 emissions of production for useful chemicals. The researcher at CSCE will focus on heterogeneous catalytic routes and will synthesize different porous and non-porous supported/non-supported catalysts and test their performance in high temperature CO2 conversion chemistry (in a new, CO2-dedicated CSCE reactors). Light assisted high temperature catalytic strategies and mechanistic studies (IR spectroscopy) will be investigated as well. An example of the type of CO2 work in the group is found in this paper https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acscatal.2c01374 but note that also zeolite synthesis and catalysis could be part of this PhD.

Last Application Date: September 8, 2022

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11. Polymorph selection of APIs at functionalized surfaces studied with SHG

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Crystalline materials commonly display a surprisingly large variety of stable and metastable crystal structures with distinctive physical properties. This phenomenon is called polymorphism. A well-known example is the element carbon which can exist as diamond, graphite, graphene, fullerene etc. In the pharmaceutical industry control over the polymorph outcome is crucial, because the crystal structure determines the efficacy, stability and patentability of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s). Since crystallization almost always occurs at foreign interfaces, the crystal outcome can be controlled through interactions with functional groups grafted to surfaces. Functionalized surfaces are able to selectively tune the nucleation kinetics of crystals through intermolecular interactions and confinement. The aim of this project is to rationalize surface functionalization based on binding affinities between functional groups and specific crystal planes. Combined with confinement in silica opals optimal selectivity will be achieved for selected APIs.

Last Application Date: October 15, 2022

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12. PhD: Assessment of Reading Proficiency through Automatic Speech Recogition

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Children develop their reading skills mainly in primaryschools. This is an intensive process that requires many hours of the teacher’stime. Some children evolve faster than others, calling for a personalizedapproach in a setting with limited educational resources. Also, non-nativelearners face different challenges and require more time. In this PhD project,you will work on solutions based on deep learning to accurately provide feedback to learners,estimate their level of proficiency and stimulate reading. This project is a collaboration between prof. Hugo Van hamme(Processing of Speech and Images research unit) of the Faculty of EngineeringScience who will act as the promoter of the PhD project and prof. Ghesquière(Parenting and Special Education research unit) of the Faculty of Psychologyand Educational Sciences, who will act as co-promoter. Your primary work placewill be the department of Electrical Engineering.

Last Application Date: September 19, 2022

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13. Simulation supported vibro-acoustic monitoring of additive manufacturing parts

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This PhD is part of a project aiming to produce first-time right zero-defect parts through additive manufacturing. This project aims to develop monitoring solutions fusing complementary information from optical sensors, and structural and airborne acoustic emission sensors. Given the complexity of combining different monitoring data streams, the project will employ data-driven models as well as physics-based signal analysis. As a researcher you will develop a suite of modelling strategies that enable (i) determining the optimal sensor locations, (ii) accounting for varying vibro-acoustic signal travel time in complex parts and as the build progresses to synchronize this signal with the existing monitoring tools, and(iii) deconvoluting the measured vibro-acoustic signal to account for diffraction, reflection, or other effects that are interfering with the original signal as it travels from its origin (the melt or defect) to the sensor. Such a simulation supported approach to improve the accuracy of vibro-acoustic monitoring of Additive Manufacturing has not been previously developed.

Last Application Date: September 15, 2022

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14. Electronic noses for early warning on agricultural machinery

Summary of Doctoral Project:

To perform this research, the MeBioS division is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with an interest in agricultural machinery, electronic noses and advanced data analysis methods. Do you hold a master in (bioscience) engineering, computer science, data science or physics? Do you have a creative, critical, analytical and innovative mindset? Are you eager to combine scientific knowledge and challenges with hands-on experience in implementing sensing technology on agricultural machinery? Do you have excellent oral and written communication skills in English? Then you may be the perfect candidate to join our team. Experience in one or more of following fields is a clear plus: aroma profiling with GC/MS, electronic nose technology, multivariate data analysis, programming in Matlab or Python.

Last Application Date: September 12, 2022

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15. Production intelligence for product design and performance optimization

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The research is hosted by the KU Leuven Micro&Precision Engineering Research(MPE) group – as part of the Manufacturing and Process Systems division(MaPS) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. MaPS stands for the study of techniques, methods and devices that are used to manufacture parts of products and systems based on in-depth knowledge of the material-tool interaction and derived machine structures. Systematic data monitoring, analysis and management is used in this context, targeting system optimisation. Product specification, modelling, process planning and quality control are integrated aspects of the product-production cycle, for which the sustainability dimension is considered in a life cycle approach. This results in innovative manufacturing processes and systems that are developed in close collaboration with industrial partners. The MPE group is supervised by prof. Dominiek Reynaerts and is focusing on the development of micro-systems, micro-nano manufacturing (covering both machining processes and machine design) and the development of medical instruments.

Last Application Date: October 31, 2022

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16. PhD on engineering plant circadian clocks for climate adaptation

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Global warming is threatening agricultural systems across the planet and causing the migration of global crop production to Northern countries. However, as Northern countries experience rising temperatures, they require crops and crop varieties that can tolerate warmer growing conditions. The long-term goal of this research program is to use the more heat-tolerant crops currently grown in southern latitudes and engineer/breed them for growth at higher latitudes. This involves understanding how plants adapt to the environmental changes associated with latitude such as the dramatic changes in day length over a growing season. The circadian clock is a genetic oscillator that allows plants to maintain a fixed biological rhythm in sync with their natural environments. The plant clock has previously been found by us and others to play an important role in sensing the environmental changes associated with latitude and is thus an important target for this research program.

Last Application Date: October 1, 2022

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17. Optimal design of compact heat exchangers for environmentally friendly heat pump

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The project aims to propose a novel approach to design (parts of) compact heat exchangers(HX) in a heat pump (HP) in which the design freedom provided by additive manufacturing techniques is exploited. To this end, detailed flow and heat transfer models are composed to improve the component design, while taking into account the system level to ensure optimal system performance. The main research objective of this project is the reduction of the refrigerant charge in the heat exchangers by means of design innovation. The PhD candidate will be responsible to setup a heat pump model with a detailed representation of the heat exchangers. A special focus will be on the evaporator and the problem of frosting formation in air source heat pumps. Laboratory testing will be required to analyse this phenomenon. Interactions with other PhD students involved in the project and responsible for other tasks will be requested.

Last Application Date: September 30, 2022

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18. PhD position in logical geometry and philosophy of logic

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Aristotelian diagrams, such as the square of opposition, have been widely used throughout the history of philosophy and logic. Nowadays, they also have several applications in other disciplines that are concerned with logical reasoning, such as psychology, linguistics and computer science. The overarching goal of the STARTDIALOG project is to develop a unified theory of Aristotelian diagrams. In this PhD position, you will be responsible for carrying out an important and philosophically relevant part of the project, viz., to address the fundamental question why Aristotelian diagrams are used so frequently in the first place. Furthermore, you will also carry out selected case studies on philosophically relevant applications of Aristotelian diagrams.

Last Application Date: August 23, 2022

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19. PhD position in logical geometry and formal logic

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Aristotelian diagrams, such as the square of opposition, have been widely used throughout the history of philosophy and logic. Nowadays, they also have several applications in other disciplines that are concerned with logical reasoning, such as psychology, linguistics and computer science. The overarching goal of the STARTDIALOG project is to develop a unified theory of Aristotelian diagrams. In this PhD position, you will be responsible for carrying out an absolutely fundamental part of the project, viz., to study the behavior of Aristotelian diagrams in classical formal logic.

Last Application Date: August 23, 2022

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20. Social Network Analysis for the transmission of ideas in the Ancient World

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The PhD candidate will focus on the study of the relations emerging from the mentions of names in Greek and Latin texts. Part of the tasks will be carried out in collaboration with another PhD student and one Postdoc. Using a large set of automatically retrieved passages, gathered by the other PhD scholar, the candidate will reconstruct and exploit the network of intellectual relations over a large span of time. A particular test-case on the first stages of the advent of Christianity is foreseen.

Last Application Date: September 8, 2022

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21. Transport and uptake mechanisms of extracellular RNAs in insects

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The advent of high-throughput sequencing methods drastically changed our view on how genomes are organized, and on how they can influence an organism’s phenotype. Large parts of metazoan genomes are not coding for proteins. However, this does not necessarily imply that these regions are merely ‘junk DNA’, as they may still give rise to a diversity of transcript categories with particular regulatory functions. Currently, several classes of small non-coding RNAs are known to interfere with gene expression at different levels and, by doing so, they are implicated in a multitude of biological processes. The discovery of this additional layer of regulatory complexity initiated a new scientific challenge, i.e. to better understand the mechanisms by which these regulatory transcripts exert their important roles.

Last Application Date: August 16, 2022

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22. Vibro-acoustic sensing for enhanced robotic pedicle screw placement

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This PhD opening fits in the FAROS–project on Functionally Accurate RObotic Surgery, aiming at improving functional accuracy through embedding physical intelligence in surgical robotics. Today, autonomy is mostly non-existent in commercial surgical robots. Modern robotic approaches target absolute geometric precision, but in the context of surgery, functional accuracy, i.e. relative to target anatomic and functional structures, is what matters. FAROS will construct a functional representation of the surgical task fusing key non-visual sensing, using machine learning to interpret intraoperative data. Vibro-acoustics is one key non-visual sensing method, using vibrational and acoustic information. Vibro-acoustics already has shown its merits in the assessment of fixation of orthopaedic and dental implants. This PhD project aims at developing a vibro-acoustic method to detect imminent bone breach during robotic pedicle screw placement. Moreover, it will be investigated whether vibro-acoustic data can predict the quality of the bone tissue, predicting the possible fixation of pedicle screws. To this end, different probabilistic models can be derived each with their own predictive power. The validity and predictive power of the most promising models will be verified experimentally. Sensor fusion can be applied to elevate the confidence, accuracy and robustness of the parameter estimates.

Last Application Date: August 17, 2022

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23. Dynamic LCA model of the housing stock in Flanders

Summary of Doctoral Project:

In Europe, the building sector is responsible for about 36% of the greenhouse gas emissions. To reach environmental and climate targets, this sector requires an important transformation, both energy and material related. The aim of this PhD research is to develop a dynamic Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model of the housing stock in Flanders to support policy makers to steer more effectively towards a lower environmental impact of the built environment. A building-by-building approach is used by modelling each dwelling of the housing stock. The model covers temporal evolutions in the housing stock and changes of external factors related to the energy mix, material consumption and climate change. 3D stock models and geospatial (GIS) data are used to provide insight in the spatial distribution of the environmental impacts. To define the modelling requirements and enable decision support at different scale levels, the dynamic LCA model is applied at both regional (Flanders) and city level.

Last Application Date: August 31, 2022

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24. PhD Researcher (4 years (2+2), fully funded) in the philosophy of moral responsibility and philosophical methodology

Summary of Doctoral Project:

We are looking for a PhD candidate with an interest in the philosophy of moral responsibility, philosophical methodology and the history of analytic philosophy. The position is full-time, for four years (2+2), starting November 1st 2022 (or as soon as possible thereafter), with limited teaching duties and organizational tasks. The candidate will work with prof. Benjamin De Mesel (supervisor) and prof. Stefaan Cuypers (co-supervisor) on their project ‘Transforming Responsibility Theory Through Strawsonian Genealogy’, funded by KU Leuven Internal Funds. The candidate will be a member of RIPPLE (Research in Political Philosophy and Ethics Leuven) and is expected to participate in its activities.

Last Application Date: September 15, 2022

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25. PhD position in MSCA Doctoral Training Network: Generating embedded shielding solutions using innovative layer-by-layer approaches (DR11)

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The aim of this PhD project is to develop a layer-by-approach for the generation of embedded and local 3D embedded shielding solutions for integrated chips using the printability properties exhibited by some electromagnetic shielding polymer formulations. This technique has not yet been exploited to incorporate embedded shielding solutions that provide local shielding within larger structures. Novel material formulations and modified 3D printing methods will allow to achieve the required trade-off between shielding efficiency and processibility while maintaining sufficient resolution. Electromagnetic propagation modelling will be used to design demonstrator materials with local shielding capability.

Last Application Date: September 30, 2022

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26. Channel modelling for 6G non-terrestrial wireless networks

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The sixth-generation (6G) mobile communications are expected to provide seamless wireless coverage considering multi-layer cooperating vertical networks, where two types of revolutionary changes are included, I) existing infrastructures extended to support ground and low-altitude aerial users, and II) incorporating aerial and space communication nodes such as drones, high-altitude platform, and satellites for assisting terrestrial networks, ultimately forming a 3D integrated network layout. Terminologies such as space-air-ground integrated networks and non-terrestrial networks are proposed for the ambitious vision. To realize the vision, the wireless channels, i.e., air-to-ground (AG) and space-to-ground (SG), play an indispensable role in the design and deployment of vertical networks. Thus, this project will focus on large-scale and small-scale AG/SG propagation channel modelling from multiple dimensions, e.g., altitude, frequency, mobility, and environment.

Last Application Date: August 31, 2022

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27. PhD student: deep learning for cancer genomics

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The Laboratory of Computational Biology (www.aertslab.org) is looking for a PhD student to decipher gene regulatory programs in cancer. You will engineer new AI models to predict gene expression across cancer cell states, and across different tumor types. As training data you will use in-house generated and publicly available single-cell data sets (e.g., scRNA-seq, scATAC-seq). Different deep learning strategies will be applied, including convolutional neural networks, transformers, variational autoencoders, and combinations thereof. You will also investigate how to make a pan-cancer repository of regulatory models. Depending on your background and interest, you can work closely together with our wet lab to generate new data sets, and to experimentally validate your predictions. Further, you will use your models in collaboration with colleagues in the lab to gain mechanistic insight into cancer cell states, hence the explainability of these models (XAI) is crucial. Other applications of your models will be the interpretation of genomic DNA variation, the integration with spatial omics data, and the design of synthetic regulatory circuits as new therapeutic strategies.

Last Application Date: August 22, 2022

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28. Joint sub-THz communication and sensing

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The sixth-generation (6G) mobile communication systems will have extremely high bandwidth and transmitter density. This opens the floor towards new applications such as vital signs monitoring and joint communication and sensing. In this project, we will start from a THz communication system, and explore the sensing opportunities. Use cases will be spectrum sensing in general, where we want to understand the signals sent by a transmitter in our environment. This will be extended towards radar applications where we also analyse reflected signals in the environment of on the human body. Especially the latter use case will be explored to understand how THz systems can be used for vital signs monitoring and even telemedicine systems. We are looking for researchers with an interest in THz technology, signal processing, AI and sensing applications. You will learn about the opportunities and challenges of future 6G technology, and have the opportunity to explore new use cases. The THz system and data collection will be there, the goal of this study is to explore the use case for sensing.

Last Application Date: August 31, 2022

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29. Multi-sensor monitoring of laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This PhD position is hosted by the Additive Manufacturing (AM) research group, under the direct supervision of Prof. Bey Vrancken – as part of the Manufacturing and Process Systems division (MaPS) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven. The KU Leuven AM group has over three decades of expertise in AM research. At present, the AM group is continuing and extending their research activities in different areas related to laser-based AM (see also the research group website): broadening the materials palette for AM (ceramics, aluminum, bio materials, …); relating process conditions to static and dynamic mechanical properties via analysis of micro structure, texture, porosity, thermal stresses,…; machine design and process optimization (software and hardware, integrating new enabling technologies); and in-situ and post-process quality control (X-ray CT, process monitoring, closed loop control, post-build treatments).

Last Application Date: August 23, 2022

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30. PhD candidate on language barriers in unplanned medical care?

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This project is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Interpreting Science Research Group (KU Leuven, Antwerp Campus), the Academic Center for General Practice (KU Leuven), Urgency Medicine (UZ Leuven, KU Leuven) and the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication (TLC) (University Utrecht).

Last Application Date: August 26, 2022

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31. PhD studentship on Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Our project brings together a translational immunology research group led by Prof. Abhishek D. Garg, further working together with the groups of Prof. Steven De Vleeschouwer (specializing in adult brain cancers) and Prof. Sandra Jacobs (specializing in paediatric brain cancers). This project’s aims are located at the interface of the immunobiology of glioblastoma, multi-omics bioinformatics, and translational immunotherapy. With this project we ambitiously aim to go significantly beyond the current state-of-the-art, by proposing innovative and interdisciplinary research theme, integrating methodology from various fields of glioblastoma biology, immunology & immunotherapy; and cover all levels from integrated omics to translational immunotherapy and biomarker discovery.

Last Application Date: September 16, 2022

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32. Spacetime Metamaterials

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Spacetime metamaterials, artificial optical structures formed by modulating a host medium in sophisticated fashions, represent a new and hot paradigm in modern science and technology. The PhD student will explore, upon the pioneering foundation established in the group, novel spacetime metamaterial structures, phenomena and applications.

Last Application Date: April 1, 2023

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33. Measuring the kinetics of the hydrogen reduction of slags

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Metallurgical reactors enable the closure of the material cycles in a circular economy. Due to a dynamic supply chain, dynamic process models are required to describe modern bath-smelting operations, such as Top Submerged Lance (TSL)-, plasma- and Top Blown Rotary Converters (TBRC)– reactors. To calibrate these models, kinetic data together with insights in the removal of Pb, Zn, Sb, As, etc. from fayalite/olivine slags (FeOx-SiO2-CaO-Al2O3) as a function of H2 or H2 + CO gas mixtures, temperature and slag composition need to be known. The group has over the years built an experimental infrastructure to measure these data. In the group and by the industrial partner consortium, Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been applied recently to simulate the operations as well. Modelling, simulation as well as industrial knowledge is provided by the industrial partners to help focus the experimental data acquisition.

Last Application Date: August 16, 2022

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34. Deep learning for medical ultrasound

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The research team of the Pelvic Floor Clinic linked to the Department of Development and Regeneration at KU Leuven, and the University Hospitals Leuven, in collaboration with the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences, at King’s College London, develops and applies innovative machine-learning techniques to aid transperineal pelvic floor ultrasound examination (TPUS) and, to a lesser extent, pelvic floor Magnetic Resonance Imaging analysis. PFUS is used to assess pelvic floor anatomy and function in women with pelvic floor dysfunction. We aim to develop and validate algorithms that automate aspects of the clinical workflow to save clinicians’ time for patient counselling and to be less operator- and expertise-dependent. This computational research aims to have a clinical impact and improve the current clinical workflow by lowering the threshold for using ultrasound to less experienced users.

Last Application Date: September 16, 2022

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35. Smart metasurfaces for wireless communication and processing systems

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Exploring novel paradigms for ultra-fast real-time data processing and wireless communication based on cutting-edge space-time metasurface science and technology, including aspects of both classical and quantum electrodynamics (microwave and optics).

Last Application Date: December 31, 2022

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36. PhD Position in MSCA Doctoral Network PARASOL: novel methods for the characterization the low-frequency performance of (future) shielding solutions

Summary of Doctoral Project:

In this task, the Doctoral Researcher will, starting from the characterization method described in IEEE 299, develop, and compare several SE (Shielding Effectiveness) characterization methods to characterize the shielding properties of materials at very-low-frequencies. A sound theoretical background will allow to give the right interpretation to the obtained SE values for use of the material in practice. Low-frequency electromagnetic disturbances are very hard to confine by shielding and proper characterization methods are lacking. Especially in that frequency range, shielding effectiveness values heavily depend on the specific source, the source orientation, the distance between source and shield, etc.

Last Application Date: September 30, 2022

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37. PhD position in MSCA Doctoral Training Network PARASOL: Generating sustainable polymer-based electromagnetic shields using functional coatings (DR1)

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This PhD project will be performed in the Soft Matter Rheology and Technology (SMaRT) section in the Chemical Engineering Department at KU Leuven under the supervision of Prof. Ruth Cardinaels. The research in the SMaRT group is mostly of experimental nature and aims at designing methodologies for intelligent process or product (formulation) design using so-called “complex fluids” or “soft matter”. Extensive state-of-the-art and home-built experimental facilities for the characterization of mechanical properties in the liquid state (bulk as well as interfacial rheology), combined with various techniques to characterize microstructure development during flow are available. Moreover, the lab is equipped with all major types of commercial 3D printing devices as well as several in-house adapted devices. Dielectric and electromagnetic properties can be characterized in the low frequency as well as high frequency region.

Last Application Date: September 30, 2022

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38. PhD Position in MSCA Doctoral Network PARASOL: Integrated Circuit (IC) and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Shielding

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This Doctoral Researcher will develop a characterization method to measure the absorption of multiple materials under different electromagnetic conditions. The measurement results of these materials will directly lead to a very specific guidelines on how and when to apply these materials within the framework of the SSbD approach. Containing the electromagnetic emissions within a confined space is mostly achieved by implementing shielding materials like board level shields, gaskets, etc. Despite their efficiency, some downsides exist (e.g., heat conduction, space, etc.) by implementing these materials. Another solution is to employ specific absorbers on the radiating parts directly to decrease their emissions. There are, however, not many easy-to-use characterization methods to measure the shielding capabilities of absorbers. Also, the absorption of those materials would depend on the type of electromagnetic source.

Last Application Date: September 30, 2022

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39. PhD track (research and education) in Clinical Psychology

Summary of Doctoral Project:

In the clinical psychology research group, scientific research is carried out on several major research axes, namely (1) assessment, (2) developmental psychopathology and (3) treatment of psychological problems. Assessment is needed to develop tools that allow to evaluate various aspects of human psychological functioning. Developmental psychopathology investigates how psychological disorders can develop over the course of life and which factors play a role in this. The development of attitudes and skills to provide people with adequate psychological guidance and treatment when faced with psychological problems is a third important axis of research.

Last Application Date: August 19, 2022

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40. VUV and laser ionization spectroscopy of the 229m-Th isomer: a step towards a nuclear clock

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This PhD position is opened in the framework of the 229m-Th isomer study. This unique nuclear isomer at an excitation energy of around 8.3 eV (corresponding to a VUV transition of about 150 nm) should allow to built a nuclear clock that outperforms the precision of current atomic clock by at least an order of magnitude and exhibits unique properties to test fundamental physics. While this unique isomer has been proposed four decades ago, it is only a few years ago that its existence has been firmly established experimentally. At KU Leuven, a project was initiated to produce and study the 229m-Th isomer following two complementary routes. A new approach to produce pure samples of the 229m-Th isomer via laser ionization is under development in the local laser and mass separator labs, and the production of an intense source of 229m-Th populated via the beta decay of 229-Ac (produced at ISOLDE-CERN (Switzerland)) has been initiated. Both projects address complementary aspects and hold promising opportunities.

Last Application Date: September 5, 2022

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